C4IP Coalition Updates: May 2024

C4IP accomplished a lot during the month of May! Here’s a roundup of what our Coalition has been doing over the past month.

May Highlights: Debunking Patent Myths

As drug prices continue to be a focus for federal policymakers, anti-IP activists have seized the opportunity to blame the patent system. These attacks ignore the fundamental role that patents play in enabling the investment of billions of dollars that it takes to bring new, innovative treatments to market. Patents incentivize making those treatments better in ways that improve patient health outcomes and lower costs, such as formulations that can be taken once a day or devices that allow treatments to be taken at home rather than in a medical setting. Anti-patent myths threaten to halt this progress.

But the life sciences is far from the only sector that relies on strong patents. These attacks on our patent system threaten to undermine the development of all new technologies – including AI, communications, and much more.

As Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) stated during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s May 21 hearing on drug pricing:

“The patent system applies to a very wide range of products and goods, not just pharmaceuticals, and so what reforms and changes are made in order to pursue reductions in drug prices [must] not harm the patent system that protects everything from roof shingles to batteries to electric vehicles to paint coatings.”

Yet government proposals marketed as targeting drug prices – such as NIST’s guidance for march-in rights – openly admit to putting all types of technologies at risk of having their patents infringed.

For that reason, C4IP has worked to thoroughly dispel the anti-patent rhetoric and policy suggestions that have become prominent over the past month:

  • C4IP Executive Director Frank Cullen sent a letter to the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to dispel common myths about abuse of patent rights and affirm the importance of IP in drug development prior to the Committee’s May 21 hearing on lowering drug prices.
    • IPWatchdog covered C4IP’s letter in an article published May 23.

“[S]ome Members of Congress mistakenly believe they can lower drug prices by undermining the patent protections responsible for creating those medicines in the first place… As you consider potential drug pricing legislation, we urge you to defend the patent protections that make groundbreaking medical innovation possible.”

  • C4IP also released a new issue brief to debunk these common myths, including “patent thickets,” “patent evergreening,” and “product hopping,” in greater detail.

Additional Coalition Updates

  • On May 30, C4IP Co-Chair Dave Kappos was featured in a Pharmavoice article on drug pricing and patent myths. 
  • On May 28, C4IP Co-Chairs and former USPTO Directors Andrei Iancu and Dave Kappos, alongside former USPTO Officials Drew Hirshfeld, Laura Peter, and Russell Slifer, sent a letter to USPTO Director Vidal urging the immediate withdrawal of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding continuations and terminal disclaimers.
  • On May 15, C4IP Executive Director Frank Cullen sent a letter to the members of the Senate Commerce Committee on the proposed “Invent Here, Make Here Act of 2023” (S. 1956), explaining that the draft bill’s overly restrictive requirements for domestic manufacturing beyond what the law already requires could inadvertently keep the fruits of federally funded research out of the marketplace.
  • On May 13, C4IP Co-Chair Andrei Iancu and UC Berkeley official Mark Cohen published an opinion essay in the International Business Times calling on the White House to stand up against China’s illegal abuse of anti-suit injunctions in patent infringement cases.

“China must be held accountable. We must work with our allies to hold China to basic standards of transparency, due process and non-interference with the parties and courts of our own legal systems.”

  • On May 13, C4IP Executive Director Frank Cullen submitted a public comment to the USPTO responding to its February guidance for AI-assisted inventions, cautioning that the guidance’s lack of clarity on IP rights could inadvertently deter innovators from taking advantage of AI technology.
  • On May 13, C4IP Executive Director Frank Cullen submitted a public comment supporting pro-patent legislative reforms, such as PERA and the PREVAIL Act, in response to the USPTO’s Request for Comments (RFC) on how to best translate innovation to the marketplace.
  • On May 7, C4IP Co-Chair Andrei Iancu was a featured panelist in a Fireside Chat on AI and IP as part of the Special Competitive Studies Project’s AI Expo for National Competitiveness.
  • On May 3, C4IP Executive Director Frank Cullen submitted a public comment to the USPTO expressing support for but also some concerns with its March Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding proposed rules governing amendment practice in trial proceedings under the America Invents Act (AIA).
  • On May 2, former USPTO Director of Governmental Affairs Dana Colarulli published an opinion essay in RealClearHealth highlighting President Biden’s historical support for the Bayh-Dole Act and underscoring how upholding the act would help the president achieve his policy goals.
Scroll to Top