Legislative Review of STRONGER Patents Act of 2019

[Morgan Hartgrove, Contributing Member 2020-2021]

Introduction:

The United States has a rich history of innovation and entrepreneurship.[1] The ability and incentive to innovate is partially due to the country’s decision to capitalize on the ingenuity of inventors and innovators through strong intellectual property laws.[2] The Constitution of the United States empowers Congress “[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”[3] Patents are intended to protect the property right of the inventor and are issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).[4] By issuing a patent, the USPTO grants the right “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention in the United States or “importing” the invention into the United States.[5] Under this power, Congress has enacted various laws and reforms relating to obtaining, enforcing, and renewing patents.[6]

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How Patents Can Lower Drug Prices: A Policy Review of the Second Look at Drug Patents Act of 2020

[Morgan Hartgrove, Contributing Member 2020-2021]

Introduction

Patent and patent rights incentivize creation and innovation. The Constitution empowers Congress “[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”[1] However, these protections expire after a certain period of time.[2] In the pharmaceutical industry, in particular, patent rights play an essential role in incentivizing research, design, and innovation for new drugs.[3] Patents protect a drug manufacturer’s innovation by establishing a period of exclusivity, and sometimes, manufacturers extend this period of exclusivity by filing multiple or additional patents to cover one product.[4] Some argue patents create a way for manufacturers to maximize profits and prevent competition from generic drugs to enter the market. Others believe the option to extend patent protection is necessary to incentivize drug manufacturers to invest the billions of dollars it takes to create new drugs and bring them to market.[5]

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