CLSA Continues Fight to Protect Life Science Sector Patent Rights

June 12, 2015

CLSA is actively opposing H.R. 9, the so-called Innovation Act, legislation introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). In its current form, the legislation contains patent litigation-related provisions that would threaten the ability of biomedical innovators to enforce their patents and fund continued R&D by inadvertently making it more difficult, time-consuming and expensive to enforce legitimate and important IP rights.

On June 11, the House Judiciary Committee held a mark-up of H.R. 9, passing the legislation by a vote of 24 – 8. Committee members and California Reps. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and Scott Peters (D-San Diego) voted no; Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Niguel), Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) and Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) voted aye. Notably, we appreciate the interest and efforts of several members of the Committee, including Reps. Walters and Peters, in expressing strong support for additional reforms to curb ongoing abuses of the PTO’s IPR process. Click here to view CLSA’s statement on  the results of the Committee hearing and vote. A potential date for consideration by the whole House has not yet been announced.

On June 4, the Senate Finance Committee passed S. 1137, the Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship (PATENT) Act by a vote of 16-4. This legislation, introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), while an improvement on the legislative language contained in H.R. 9, fails to address several issues that will place an undue burden on the enforcement rights of legitimate patent owners in the life sciences sector. CLSA will continue to work with the Senate to improve the PATENT Act so that it better supports our state’s life sciences innovation economy.

CLSA continues to engage with the California delegation, along with our stakeholder biopharmaceutical, venture capital, medical device and university partners, to inform members and staff about the negative impact that legislation pending in both the House and Senate would have on the life sciences sector. Last month CLSA organized a company sign-on letter opposing the legislation in its current form, garnering more than 100 signatories. A copy of the letter is available here.