Tag: patent reform biotech and high tech

Kristie Prinz Interview with Dow Jones Marketwatch on Patent Holding Companies, Patent Reform

Written by on Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Dow Jones Marketwatch Reporter John Letzing recently interviewed me regarding patent holding companies and the subject of patent reform generally.  While the interviews focus more on the high tech industry than the biotech industry, I think that my blog readers will want to read the articles, as  John did an excellent job in addressing the issues.

Speculator of Mundane Patents Casts a Long Shadow

Lawmakers Take Aim at Patent Speculators

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Biotech vs. High Tech: Opposing Views on Patent Reform

Written by on Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

The International Herald Tribune ran an interesting article last week on the clash between biotech and high tech over patent reform.

The International Herald Tribune reported:

Both industries depend on patented inventions, but high-technology firms have been pushing for changes to lower the risk of expensive patent-infringement lawsuits. And much of what they want is reflected in a bill making its way through Congress.

Biotechnology companies, however, argue that such changes would make it harder to protect new discoveries. . . .

The biotechnology industry. . . . foresees damaging consequences. Biotechnology firms, major drug companies, and universities all stand to earn millions, sometimes billions of dollars on inventions that can be as small as a single molecule.

They attract financing based largely on the potential value of their inventions, whose profits may be many years in the future. If those inventions were more vulnerable to patent challenge, with decreased penalties for infringement, they would become far shakier foundations on which to build a company. 

The article raises an interesting question: is patent reform a bad idea for the biotech industry?

While clearly a case can be made that patent reform is not favored by the industry, I think it is a bit leap to say that patent reform is actually going to harm biotech companies.  Sure, proponents for patent reform are largely members of the high tech industry, which has increasingly had to worry about the phenomenon of "patent trolls" and high litigation damage awards, but that does not mean that patent reform is going to actually have a detrimental effect on biotechnology.  Isn’t it possible that, despite the gap between the industries on this issue, that in the end any patent reform measure passed will ultimately affect both industries to a similar degree? It is not as though the patent reform measures will be industry specific, although I am not so sure that the industries wouldn’t prefer otherwise.











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