IP: Imperative for Innovation

Patent systems can provide an advantage to society by rewarding the development of new inventions, promoting the advancement of technology and protecting the investor.  Patents often are the most important, and sometimes only, asset of a biotech company. Patents and related rights must be obtained in a timely and predictable manner and the ability to enforce those patents is critical.

Today, BIO is organizing a first-of-its kind workshop along with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) in Beijing, which will kick-off a series of meetings intended to open communication and establish a relationship between the two patent agencies.

The workshop will bring together Chinese patent examiners, U.S. patent examiners, and biotech patent experts from industry and academia to discuss several issues of specific importance to biotechnology patenting practices in China. In panel sessions, the USPTO and SIPO speakers will discuss how patent issues are handled by pertinent provisions in their current patent law and rules. They will also discuss office practice and share practical experiences with the different technical arts in biotechnology.  Speakers representing the US industry and academia will share their perspectives on patent law and practice in each country.

The first panel session will focus on written description and enablement requirements, focusing on the type of information that is required for an invention to satisfy the requirements. Next, attendees will discuss assessing the scope of claims using homology or determining the percent sequence identity language and related issues that often arise during examination. In the last panel, attendees will share insights on patent disclosures that are required when genetic resources are used to evaluate an invention and stakeholders’ experiences with China’s new genetic disclosure requirement.

This workshop offers a unique and valuable opportunity to establish an ongoing relationship between the PTO, SIPO and BIO to share best practices on critical patent issues.

Intellectual property laws are the driving force for innovation and progress around the world. Societies that protect inventors with patents are the world’s most advanced – scientifically and technologically.

China’s intellectual property system has been improved in recent years, and most of the critical policy frameworks are in place. China can speed the growth of innovation by bringing greater transparency and consistency to its regulatory and legal framework, bolstering enforcement of intellectual property laws and providing protections for biotechnology inventions.

BIO and the PTO intend to work with the SIPO to strengthen China’s regulatory system to encourage innovation and protect intellectual property within the country. The commitment of SIPO will be critical for encouraging companies who want to do business in China.

Investors and innovators will do business where they have confidence that their intellectual property will be protected. The greater assurances countries, such as China, can offer through laws and the consistent enforcement of those laws to protect patents, the more biotech innovation will flourish within their borders.

In October, BIO will host the inaugural BIO China International Conference in Shanghai, bringing together industry leaders for discussions regarding potential partnerships and collaborations.