California’s Life Sciences Sector Renews Opposition to H.R. 9, the So-Called “Innovation” Act

According to CLSA, Without substantial changes, the legislation jeopardizes Americas leadership in life sciences research, investment and innovation

– June 12, 2015 – Today, the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), the statewide public policy organization representing over 750 of California’s leading life sciences innovators, voiced continued opposition to H.R. 9, the Innovation Act, as amended and reported by the House Judiciary Committee yesterday.

“While we appreciate that the bill reported yesterday represents some improvement over earlier versions, these changes do not sufficiently address the significant concerns we and numerous others have raised with the measure,” said Todd Gillenwater, CLSA’s Executive Vice President of Advocacy & External Relations. “CLSA must therefore strongly urge members of our California congressional delegation to oppose the legislation.”

Provisions of particular concern to life sciences innovators include effectively mandatory fee shifting for most patent litigation and joinder language under which parties such as universities, research institutes, investors, or start-up companies could be joined in litigation as unwilling co-plaintiffs, exposing them to the cost of the defendant’s attorney fees and other litigation expenses.

While CLSA appreciates the attempts made to address abuses of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) inter partes review processes (IPR), the proposed reforms in the measure are insufficient to address the fundamental problems and abuses within the IPR system. CLSA acknowledges and appreciates the interest and efforts of several members of the Committee, including California Reps. Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Niguel) and Scott Peters (D-San Diego), in expressing strong support for further reforms to curb ongoing abuses of the PTO’s IPR process.

“Any patent litigation legislation must appropriately and carefully balance the need to correct abusive ‘patent troll’ practices with the reliance of a full spectrum of industries and sectors on a well-functioning U.S. patent system and the enforcement mechanisms it provides,” added Gillenwater. “Unfortunately, H.R. 9 falls short of this goal and we respectfully oppose the bill as reported out of committee.”

CLSA hopes to continue working with the bill’s sponsors, our congressional delegation, and House Leadership to improve the legislation so that it is more supportive of our state’s life sciences innovation ecosystem.

About California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)
California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the leading voice for California’s life sciences sector. We work closely with industry, government, academia and other stakeholders to shape public policy, drive business solutions and grow California’s life sciences innovation ecosystem. CLSA serves over 750 biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, investors and service providers. CLSA was founded in 2015 when the Bay Area Bioscience Association (BayBio) and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI) merged to create the state’s most influential life sciences advocacy and business leadership organization. Visit CLSA at, and follow us on Twitter @CALifeSciences, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Will Zasadny
Manager, Communications for CLSA