The Biotechnology Industry Organization, an industry body that represents the interests of a variety of biotechnology institutions, recently called on the U.S. trade representative to push for greater enforcement of intellectual property rights abroad.
In official comments filed with the representative, BIO emphasized that the biotechnology industry faces a particularly wide range of intellectual property challenges. Like other sectors, the biotechnology field has to deal with compulsory licensing, patent office inefficiencies, counterfeiting and divergent judicial standards.
In addition, the biotechnology industry faces some unique challenges, such as technology transfer issues, differing standards for invention "patentability" and genetic resource access.
"Biotech companies rely heavily on the strength and scope of their patents to generate the significant investment [necessary] … to bring biotech therapies and other products to market," said BIO vice president for global intellectual property policy Lila Feisee. "The importance of international intellectual property protection has increased as these companies seek to expand the markets for their products."
BIO represents more than 1,100 organizations based in more than 30 countries. Member organizations include state biotechnology centers, biotechnology companies and academic institutions.