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About IPCC

The BIO IP Counsels Committee Conference & Meeting began in 2004 as a service to BIO members –members of the BIO IP Counsels Committee, core R&D companies, and BIO member law firms and other service providers. The conference had two parts:

  1. One or two in-person committee meetings where members receive updates from BIO and also have the opportunity to discuss recent challenges and experiences among industry colleagues.
  2. Educational sessions sponsored by expert law firms in the IP sector to keep BIO members up to date on the latest industry issues and events.
In 2009, the meeting was opened to BIO non-members, including core r&d companies, government, academia, and service providers. The conference still consisted of educational sessions and a committee meeting, as it does today.
The BIO IP Counsels Committee is made up of over 200 IP professionals employed by BIO member core R&D companies. The Committee meets four times a year (usually once per quarter), two meetings of which take place in-person. Working groups meet on an ad hoc basis or to give comments throughout the year on papers, letters, and other correspondence.
Committee’s Mission
To promote strong, predictable intellectual property protection and efficient transfer of IP rights for
the biotechnology industry domestically and internationally.
Committee Leadership
Chair: Kenneth Dow, Vice President, Patents & Assistant Patent Counsel, Johnson & Johnson
Immediate Past Chair: Thomas Kelley, Patent Counsel, Monsanto Company
Subcommittees and Working Groups
  • Amicus Subcommittee
    Chair: Brian P. Barrett, Senior Director, Assistant General Patent Counsel, Eli Lilly & Company
  • PTO Working Group
    Co-Chairs: Christine Bellon, Vice President, Legal Affairs, Blueprint Medicines and
    Jason Ferrone, Vice President, Patents & Senior Patent Counsel, Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • International IP Working Group
    Chair: Li Westerlund, Vice President of Global IP, Bavarian Nordic Group
To view the work of the BIO IP Counsels Committee and the work of BIO in the IP area, please visit the BIO website here.
Eligibility for Participation
In order to be eligible for membership, the interested party MUST be a member of BIO. Unless otherwise directed by the chair of the IPCC, committee members MUST represent a member biotechnology company either as in-house patent counsel or outside patent counsel. While a law degree is not required, many committee activities require detailed knowledge of patent law.If you are interested in joining any of the following subcommittees, please contact Austin Donohue at
Past Accomplishments
The IPCC has helped develop and pass the American Inventor Protection Act of 1999 and the America Invents Act of 2011; developed BIO’s positions on patent reform; and engaged in Patent Reform negotiations on the Hill. The committee has developed BIO’s position and testimony on patenting genetic materials, university and industry partnerships/technology transfer and intellectual property and competition policy. The committee has also filed comments to relevant PTO proposed rule making notices most notably for implementing the American Invents Act, the PTO’s “Patents for Humanity” program, “three track” examination, PTO claims and continuation rules, and the PTO’s utility and written description guidelines.  The committee has also filed numerous amicus briefs in cases of relevance to the biotechnology industry, including Mayo v. Prometheus, Stanford v. Roche, AMP v. Myriad Genetics, KSR v. Teleflex, in re Bilski, and Therasense v. Becton Dickinson, and Microsoft v. i4i, among others. The committee also files annual comments to, and participates in the Special 301 process highlighting countries with IP concerns, at the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Also, on the international front, the committee has developed BIO’s position on substantive patent law harmonization, intellectual property in global health, and intellectual property and access to genetic resources.
The committee has:
  • developed Guidelines for members engaged in bioprospecting and model material transfer agreement;
  • developed BIO’s positions on TRIPS-related issues;
  • filed amicus briefs in cases of interest to the biotechnology industry;
  • drafted a framework for educational materials for the federal judiciary;
  • developed BIO’s position on Bayh-Dole;
  • developed BIO’s position on patent reform and implementing PTO regulations;
  • filed comments on the USTR’s Special 301 request