Tag Archives: patent reform

BIO opinion on support of the US patent reform

Last week I blogged about the US patent reform bill “First to file, first to invent and patent reform in the US”.  To follow up I wanted to repost some of the opinions from the PatentlyBIOtech blog who blogged a post in favour of the reforms “Patent Reform Bill good for Biotech”  

They argue:

“Patents are often the main assets of small biotech companies, and they rely on this intellectual property to attract investors to fund the lengthy and expensive research and development process… The improvements made by the America Invents Act would benefit the biotechnology industry, and indeed all sectors of the U.S. economy, by enhancing patent quality and the efficiency, objectivity, predictability, and transparency of the patent system.”

Re: the first to invent vs. the first to file system they said:

“One of the most hotly debated provisions of the America Invents Act would change America’s first to invent system to a first inventor to file system.  This system is embedded in international patent practice, with the United States as the only exception.  While some argue that America’s first to invent system is superior, it is inherently fraught with uncertainties, and problems arise when biotechnology companies try to protect their inventions here and abroad. This bill would remove these uncertainties, while providing adequate protections against misappropriation of an invention by someone other than the true inventor”

They outline their opinions on other ways the new bill will affect the system as a whole.  The blog is linked to the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) who: “represent 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.”

First to file, first to invent and patent reform in the US

The news that the US is debating a patent reform bill didn’t come as much of a surprise, criticisms of the current system (and in particular its backlogs) are common in the media.

It seems however, that the patent reform act is also set to be the topic of passionate debate.  See the NYTimes article “Senators to Debate Patent Bill”  

“…critics say [the bill] will undermine American strength abroad, plunder the United States economy and exceed the government’s constitutional authority”

Strong words indeed!  The article also says:

“…opponents of the bill maintain that the current system is better structured to “give the little guy an advantage,” said Keith D. Grzelak, former chairman of the intellectual policy subcommittee of the United States branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.”

Interestingly it seems the “big guys” are not happy either with the bill in its current form.  Washington Post article; “Senate debates patent reform as more voices weigh in” says:  

“The proposal has met with resistance from some of its earliest supporters in the technology industry. The Coalition for Patent Fairness, which includes companies such as Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel and Verizon, has issued a statement saying it opposes the current bill.”

The main change proposed is to move from a “first to invent” to a “first to file” system.  For more info on the differences see the Wikipedia page on the topic. In the meantime, we will have to wait and see what the final details of the reform will be.