REPORT Health and Social ProgramsIntellectual PropertyUnited States

The Impact of Exempting the Pharmaceutical Industry from Patent Reviews


July 2015, Dean Baker

This paper analyzes the impact of an amendment to Senate Bill 1137, offered by Senator Thomas Tillis, which would exempt patents related to pharmaceuticals and biological products from the Inter Partes Review (IPR) process. The IPR process was established in the America Invents Act, which was passed and signed into law in 2012. The process is intended to provide a quick and low-cost way in which dubious patent claims can be challenged by those who might be affected. In the first two years in which it was in place, almost one-third of challenged claims were canceled or removed according to data from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Based on this data, the paper argues that the IPR process appears to be an effective mechanism for quickly removing dubious patent claims before they impose major costs on the economy.

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