C4IP Coalition Updates: December 2023

Happy holidays! C4IP has been very productive this December. Here’s a roundup of what our Coalition accomplished to close out 2023.
  • On December 20, C4IP published an issue brief on the Bayh-Dole Act and march-in rights following the Biden administration’s new – and unprecedented – proposal for government intervention in innovation and technology companies.
  •  On December 14, C4IP Co-Chair and former USPTO Director David Kappos was one of the featured speakers at a fireside chat hosted by the Bayh-Dole Coalition on the Biden administration’s new proposed framework for march-in rights.
  • On December 12, innovation policy scholar Merrill Matthews published an opinion essay in The Hill emphasizing the threat that the Biden administration’s new proposed march-in framework poses to all innovative industries.
    • “While the prescription drug industry and patients have a lot to lose if Biden’s price-control scheme is successful, they won’t be the only ones. Any research or invention, any patent, any college, university or other research institute that has any connection with taxpayer funding is threatened by Biden’s proposal.”
  • On December 11, C4IP Executive Director Frank Cullen published an opinion essay in the DC Journal detailing how the Patent Eligibility Restoration Act would bolster high-tech innovation by resolving the uncertainty injected into the patent system by a series of Supreme Court decisions.
    • “The Patent Eligibility Restoration Act will restore the intellectual property protections at the heart of the American innovation economy. That’s why we need Congress to step up as true champions for innovation and pass this critically needed legislation.”
  • On December 10, the Wall Street Journal editorial board published an opinion essay underlining the likely damaging effects on innovation of the Biden administration’s new proposed guidance for march-in rights.
    • “Profits and intellectual-property protections drive American innovation. Mr. Biden’s patent heist undercuts both and will embolden China to seize U.S. patents.”
  • On December 10, Bayh-Dole Coalition Executive Director Joe Allen published an opinion essay in IPWatchdog arguing that the Biden administration’s proposed guidelines for march-in rights pose a direct threat to all sectors of industry, and particularly startups.
    • “Small companies receive about 70% of academic patent licenses. They depend on attracting high risk investment to survive. That’s hard enough in the best of times. But what responsible venture capitalist will want to back them now that the government has signaled that it welcomes march in petitions?”
  • On December 8, C4IP Co-Chair and former USPTO Director Andrei Iancu was quoted in Bloomberg Law’s article on the Biden administration’s proposed framework for march-in rights.
    • “Under the Bayh Dole Act, march-in was never supposed to be exercised for price controls. And the original drafters, Senators Bayh and Dole, have rejected that concept publicly…It’s a novel, incorrect interpretation. And, if implemented, I’m sure it’ll be challenged in court.”
  • On December 7, former NIST Director Walter Copan’s 2022 opinion essay on the Xtandi march-in petition was quoted in the Washington Post’s article on the Biden administration’s new framework for march-in rights.
    • “Invoking march-in rights to lower the price of a drug such as Xtandi is ‘a disastrous idea that could effectively destroy the legal foundation for the public-private research partnerships that bring new products to American consumers.’”
  • On December 7, C4IP board member and former Federal Circuit Court Judge Paul Michel was quoted in BioWorld’s article on the Biden administration’s proposal for march-in rights.
    • “[Judge Michel] noted that Sens. Birch Bayh and Bob Dole both wrote extensively saying the march-in provision…was about encouraging public-private partnerships in which the private contribution vastly outstrips the government investment. Michel said he’s concerned that the administration’s reversal of 40 years of precedent will destroy those partnerships that have led to ‘enormous success.’”
  • On December 7, C4IP board member and former Federal Circuit Court Judge Paul Michel was quoted in an Endpoints News article on the Biden administration’s proposed guidance for march-in rights.
    • “As soon as somebody’s patent is effectively taken away from them under a march-in petition being granted, they’ll file suit…I’ll be surprised if the courts take a different view of the statute than prior administrations and courts and legislatures have taken for 45 years.”
  • On December 7, C4IP issued a statement strongly opposing the Biden administration’s unprecedented assertion that price can be used as a factor to “march in” and relicense patents on federally-funded discoveries under the Bayh-Dole Act.
    • “If the government begins abusing march-in to relicense patents on breakthrough discoveries, it will stifle investment in energy, climate change, medicines, and all other technologies that benefit millions across the globe.”
    • This statement has been covered by IPWatchdog.
  • On December 4, C4IP sent a letter signed by 47 technology transfer administrators, former government officials, and other IP policy leaders to President Biden speaking out against the World Trade Organization’s proposed waiver of intellectual property rights for Covid-19 therapeutics and diagnostics.
  • On December 4, C4IP Co-Chair Andrei Iancu moderated a conversation with Rep. Deborah Ross (D-NC) for the Center for Strategic & International Studies’ Renewing American Innovation Project. They discussed the importance of promoting innovation through policies that strengthen intellectual property rights, including passing the PREVAIL Act, which Ross sponsors.
Following this conversation, Andrei also moderated a panel discussion – featuring Georgia Congressman Doug Collins, Dell Senior Legal Director Tom Brown, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Henry Hadad – that focused on the PREVAIL Act and its implications for U.S. innovation, competitiveness, and national security.
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