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30 June 2016Americas

BIO lends support to Clinton patent agenda

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has welcomed Hillary Clinton’s plans to improve the US’s patent system.

In a document called “Initiative on Technology & Innovation”, which was released on Tuesday, June 28, Clinton said she supports stricter laws to improve the US’s patent system including clamping down on excessive litigation and forum shopping.

The US presidential candidate for the Democratic Party added that she wanted the US Patent and Trademark Office (USP TO) to keep all the money it receives from applications.

In a statement released later that day, BIO said it welcomes “many of the broad proposals put forth”.

“We share her optimism in the power of American innovation and ingenuity to address global health, environmental and food-supply challenges. Furthermore, we look forward to reviewing more specific policy proposals to ensure the patent system continues to reward all innovators without favouring one industry over another,” it said.

On Clinton’s proposal to ensure the USPTO keeps any application fees it receives, BIO said it has a common interest in putting an end to fee diversions, which it described as a “tax on innovation”.

Currently, Congress is able to distribute application fees from patents across other government agencies.

“IP is the lifeblood of the biotechnology industry. Strong patents, and an efficient, predictable, and objective patent system, are critical to ensuring a steady stream of capital to companies developing innovative biotechnology products that are helping to feed, fuel, and heal our planet”, BIO said.

It added: “BIO stands ready to work with all of our presidential candidates as they continue to define their positions on the array of issues affecting the biotechnology industry.”

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