BIO has issued a strong letter of support for the Manager’s Amendment to H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act

by Stephanie D. Fischer

BIO has issued a strong letter of support for the Manager’s Amendment to H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act.  The letter is posted on our website and the text is below:

“On behalf of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), I am writing to express our strong support for your Manager’s Amendment to H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act. It is our strong desire to see this bill, as amended, passed by the House, and then we will work with you to ensure that any final product is perfected.

This legislation is similar to the bill adopted earlier this year by the U.S. Senate by a nearly unanimous vote, and we are pleased that the Manager’s Amendment to the bill has resolved many of the remaining concerns for the life sciences industry.

Your legislation will, once and for all, end the diversion of fees collected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), increase the objectivity of our patent system, and increase patent quality. It is precisely these types of reforms that should receive bipartisan support, as they are good for inventors and investors, hence good for business and jobs in America.

We thank you for all of your hard work to move the patent reform process forward in the House, and we look forward to working with you and the Senate to ensure that patent reform legislation is ultimately enacted into law this year.”

Earlier this week, BIO joined a broad coalition of organizations, universities, companies and other stakeholders to express strong support for Section 22 of the bill which would prevent future fee diversion:

“Although each of our organizations has varying views on the reforms contained in H.R. 1249, we unanimously support Section 22 and believe that it is the cornerstone of any patent reform legislation. Absent a statutory mechanism to prevent future fee diversion, as we have seen all too often in previous years, the existing and new responsibilities vested in the USPTO will suffer, the ability of the USPTO to plan long-term and build the agency our innovation economy demands will be frustrated, and the job-stifling patent application backlog will continue.”  This letter is available on our website.

House Judiciary Committee’s Patent Reform Bill is in Need of Reform, Says BIO

PRESS RELEASE

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Friday, April 15, 2011) – Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood released the following statement regarding the America Invents Act, H.R. 1249, which passed the House Committee on the Judiciary yesterday:
 
“BIO has consistently praised House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) for his introduction of a comprehensive patent reform bill similar to the bill adopted by the U.S. Senate earlier this month by a nearly unanimous vote.  Unfortunately, given the addition of the Goodlatte supplemental examination amendment, added to the bill during Committee consideration, we have no choice but to oppose floor consideration of the bill until this issue is repaired.

“The supplemental examination provision as passed by the Senate and originally included in the House bill would allow patent holders to seek a review of their issued patents at their own risk.  The Goodlatte amendment undercuts this provision by creating disincentives for patent owners to use the new procedure by having the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) act as quasi-investigative body.

“We commend Chairman Smith for all the work he has done to craft a bill, the America Invents Act, which is a clear improvement over prior House versions of patent reform legislation.  BIO was very supportive of Chairman Smith’s Manager’s Amendment.  We are pleased that the legislation will end, once and for all, the diversion of fees collected by the PTO, allowing the agency to use all of its fees to hire more examiners, reduce the backlog of pending applications, and make other improvements to its operations.  We also commend the inclusion in the bill of many other reforms that will improve the patent system and enhance patent quality, including transition to a “first-to-file” system, the creation of an inter partes review system, and the elimination of other subjective elements of patent law.
 
“Nonetheless, given the importance of adopting a supplemental examination provision much like that which passed the Senate on a bipartisan, 95-5 vote, BIO notes our objection to this bill being considered on the House floor.  We commit to work with Chairman Smith and others to rectify this issue, so that a patent reform bill with broad support can be brought to the floor of the House.”

BIO Commends Launch of House Patent Reform Process:Expresses concern with inter partes review changes

BIO Commends Launch of House Patent Reform Process

Expresses concern with inter partes review changes

 

Washington, D.C. (March 31, 2011) – Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood released the following statement on the introduction of the America Invents Act, H.R. 1249, in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“BIO praises House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) for his introduction of a comprehensive patent reform bill similar to the bill adopted by the U.S. Senate earlier this month by a nearly unanimous vote.   

“The America Invents Act is a clear improvement over prior House versions of patent reform legislation.  We are pleased that the legislation will end, once and for all, the diversion of fees collected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, allowing the agency to use all of its fees to hire more examiners, reduce the backlog of pending applications, and make other improvements to its operations.  We also commend the inclusion in the bill of many other reforms that will improve the patent system and enhance patent quality, including transition to a “first-to-file” system, the elimination of other subjective elements of patent law, and a new supplemental examination proceeding for use by patent owners.

“BIO has serious concerns with several significant changes made in the House bill regarding the inter partes review system.  Taken as a whole, these changes would make it easier to bring frivolous challenges to patents, harder for patent owners to enforce them, and more likely that patent owners will find themselves in duplicative and costly patent-related proceedings.   These changes negatively alter the carefully-crafted balance between patent owners and accused infringers that was achieved in the Senate bill – a bill that won support not only from 95 Senators, but from a wide range of industries, universities, and small businesses across the spectrum of American innovation.  

“BIO also is concerned about the inclusion of broader prior user rights in the House bill, and believes that this issue, coupled with the harmful inter partes review changes,  could set back efforts to pass meaningful patent reform this year by undermining the broad coalition of American innovators currently supporting patent reform.

“Small biotech companies rely on intellectual property to attract investors to fund the lengthy and expensive research and development process necessary to bring breakthrough new therapies and other biotech products to patients and consumers.  It is critical that patent reform legislation preserves and enhances the incentives necessary to sustain our nation’s global leadership in biotechnology innovation and to spur the creation of high-wage, high-value jobs throughout the country.  Improving our patent system can help America retain its global competitive advantage in biotechnology and other innovative industries, and will spur more investment and job creation at a time when both are sorely needed.

“BIO thanks Chairman Smith for beginning the patent reform process in the House, and we look forward to working with him and the other members of the House Committee on the Judiciary to ensure that patent reform legislation enhances patent quality and increases the efficiency, objectivity, predictability, and transparency of the patent system to benefit all sectors of our nation’s economy.”

About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIO produces BIOtech Now, an online portal and monthly newsletter chronicling “innovations transforming our world.” Subscribe to BIOtech Now.

House Patent Reform Bill Filed – Document Link

The House Patent Reform Bill has been filed.

The House Judiciary Committee also held a hearing on the Senate Bill and submitted testimony is available.

Stay tuned for BIO’s press release on the House Patent Bill.

Smith To Introduce House Patent Ahead of Next Week’s Hearing

Article from Tech Daily Dose in the National Journal stating:

House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, will introduce his own version of patent reform legislation next week, possibly as early as Monday.