Senator Kyl Introduces Patent Reform

As the financial crisis is on the mind of virtually everyone in Congress, on September 24, 2008, Senator Jon Kyl (R, AZ) introduced a new patent reform bill into the Senate. Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood released the following statement regarding the patent reform legislation:

BIO appreciates the efforts of Senator Kyl and his staff to address the concerns of many stakeholders with the patent reform legislation currently pending in the Senate, and commends him for introducing the Patent Reform Act of 2008. This legislation is a vast improvement over previous bills in the House and Senate with respect to many of the discrete issues and concerns raised by BIO, patient groups, universities, labor unions and many other stakeholders over the past two years.

In particular, the Kyl legislation advances the debate on damages in a positive direction by enhancing consistent enforcement of the current law on damages and providing greater predictability for companies across all industries but without manipulating the rules to favor infringers.

Further, although the post-grant review provisions in the Kyl legislation would provide a second window to administratively challenge a patent, the circumstances allowing such a challenge are considerably more narrow than those in S. 1145, the Patent Reform Act. The broad new administrative challenge system in S. 1145 would create patent uncertainty and reduce investment interest in biotechnology innovation.

BIO remains committed to working with all Senators and Representatives, their staff, and other stakeholders to reach agreement on how best to improve our nations patent system in a way that promotes innovation, improves patent quality and increases public participation. The Kyl legislation is an important step forward in enacting patent reform that will benefit the American economy.

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