Senate Schedules Andrei Iancu Confirmation Vote for February 5

By Gene Quinn
January 31, 2018

Senate Schedules Andrei Iancu Confirmation Vote for February 5The United States Senate has reached an agreement to hold a confirmation vote on Andrei Iancu (left), President Trump’s pick to become the next Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Yesterday, by unanimous consent, the Senate agreed on the amount of time to spend debating the Iancu nomination. At 5:00pm ET on Monday, February 5th the Senate will spend 30 minutes debating the Iancu nomination, with time equally divided between parties. A confirmation vote for Iancu will follow immediately after the close of the debate.

The Congressional Record for January 30, 2018 (at page 587) explains there will be no intervening action of debate and that no further motions will be in order.  If confirmed the motion to reconsider will be opened immediately.

The Iancu vote is expected to be a roll call vote, which means each Senator will be on the record as voting Yes or No on the Iancu nomination. A roll call vote occurs when one fifth of the Senators present request such a vote in lieu of a voice vote.

It is likely that in the ensuing days Senators will use the Iancu nomination as a vehicle to present a link between patent rights and high drug prices

“One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs,” President Trump said during his first State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, January 30, 2018. “In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States. That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down.”

There is no doubt that brand name drugs are more expensive in the United States than they are overseas, but patents are not the problem. Blockbuster drugs are patented throughout the world, and in many countries the price of a brand name drug is substantially less than the price of that same brand name drug in the United States.

There are price restrictions in many parts of the world that set a maximum that can be charged by a pharmaceutical manufacturer.  If that maximum is higher than the price of producing the next unit of the drug then the drug is made and sold, albeit for substantially less profit than it can be sold for in the United States. Thus, Americans subsidize cheap drugs for the rest of the world.


The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

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Discuss this

There are currently 2 Comments comments.

  1. Adrian Pelkus January 31, 2018 3:21 pm

    Inventors rejoice to hear a professional with real world experience is becoming Director of the USPTO.
    Reason expects changes soon to remedy the catastrophe left by the previous Director.
    None too soon as our patent system has withered and our economy is suffering as a direct consequence.
    Our future still has a chance!

    Club leaders from across the country (IGA) are organizing a visit to the USPTO and look forward very much to meeting Mr. Iancu April 17th.

  2. angry dude February 3, 2018 4:49 pm

    too little, too late

    “our” future is bleak

    focus on future generation(s)