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BIO Statement on U.S. Falling to 12th Ranking of International Patent System Strength

February 8, 2018

Washington, D.C. (February 8, 2018) – The following statement may be attributed to BIO President & CEO James Greenwood:

“This year’s International IP Index from The Global IP Center reveals deeply concerning facts about America’s steady decline as an innovation-supporting economy.

“While most of the world’s top economies continue to make the advances to intellectual property rights that fuel innovation ecosystems, the United States continues to slide backwards.

“The Index’s authors chiefly blame effects related to the 2011 America Invents Act (AIA) that created an unbalanced patent challenge system that adds substantial costs and uncertainty for innovators, who are forced to repeatedly fend off abusive attacks on previously-approved patents within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) review system.

“For biotechnology companies, this means procedural battles that never end – forcing them to spend too much of their time and limited resources in court and at the PTO and not enough in the lab.  Particularly for small firms, often the most innovative of all, even the threat of such challenges can put them out of business. Under the PTO’s prior leadership, it repeatedly refused to reign in such abuses, claiming it is not its responsibility to do so. 

“The end result is clear: America’s inventors and businesses, large and small, are left to question the ultimate strength and value of their patent portfolios, and all of us are left with a system which, while created to improve the quality of our intellectual property, threatens to weaken it instead.

“BIO remains ready and willing to work with Congress and the new PTO leadership to reform these flaws and ensure that reforms better support the inventors, the investors, and the people waiting for new innovations to improve their lives and their environment.”

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