SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and SAN DIEGO, Sept. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) and Biocom delivered a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) expressing disappointment with recent remarks, reported in POLITICO, regarding pending patent litigation legislation (H.R. 9, the so-called Innovation Act). The two non-profit associations represent more than 1,000 life sciences organizations in California, while Rep. Issa represents one of California's leading clusters of life sciences research and development.
The letter notes that his comments seem to dismiss the very real and serious concerns of life sciences companies, research universities, institutes, and venture capital firms in and around San Diego and across California with regards to H.R. 9 and the current state of the inter partes review (IPR) process at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). Rep. Issa accused those opposed to H.R. 9 of spreading "misinformation" and argued that if the bill is amended to protect biopharmaceutical patents from the IPR process, "there will be expensive, on-patent medicines that are, in fact, not new and innovative."
"These remarks seem to suggest a lack of understanding of the extraordinary value and complexity of life sciences innovation, as well as the fundamental importance that companies, and their investors, place on patents and the ability to protect and enforce them," responded Sara Radcliffe, President & CEO, California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) and Joe Panetta, President & CEO, Biocom.
"In addition to developing life-saving treatments and therapies, California's biomedical sector is also an increasingly important element of our state's economy. California is the world leader in life sciences innovation, with over 2,500 companies employing nearly 300,000 Californians, paying over $27 billion in annual salaries and wages and accounting for $22 billion in global exports. It is crucial to protect and promote these jobs and the innovation they generate, not discredit or dismiss our ecosystem's concerns."
"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. In its current form, H.R. 9 falls far short of that goal."
Click here to view the full letter from the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) and Biocom.
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 www.califesciences.org, and follow us on Twitter @CALifeSciences, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Biocom is one of the largest regional life science associations in the world, representing more than 680 member companies in Southern California. The association focuses on initiatives that position the region's life science industry competitively on the world stage, and on the development and delivery of innovative products that improve health and quality of life. For more information on Biocom or the Southern California biotechnology and medical device community, please visit the organization's Web site at http://www.biocom.org or call (858) 455-0300. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter @BIOCOMCA.
Manager, Communications for CLSA
Heidi Giesing Chokeir