This week, the White House Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) issued a Joint Strategic Plan outlining actions government, industry, educational institutions and consumer protection and public interest groups can take over the next three years to promote and protect the ideas, brands and inventions that drive America’s dynamic innovation economy, support more than 45 million jobs across the country and account for more than half of all U.S. exports.
As threats to intellectual property (IP) grow around the world, it’s vital to have a framework that harnesses the tools and resources of all relevant federal agencies to foster and maintain the competitiveness of our innovation economy. America’s biopharmaceutical innovators and the more than 850,000 women and men they employ rely on an effective IP infrastructure to continue investments in research and development that are delivering new treatments and cures for our most costly and challenging diseases, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and heart conditions.
The Joint Strategic Plan highlights the importance of IP for the American economy and jobs and points out the serious health and safety risks posed by counterfeit medicines. It calls for action to enhance the effectiveness of patent systems abroad, including by reducing patent pendency delays that can stretch as long as 10 years or more in some countries and by promoting effective, transparent and predictable patent systems. PhRMA supports focused engagement on these challenges and others outlined in the Plan’s four key sections:
- Section 1: Showcase the importance of IP in economic growth, including high-wage jobs and market competiveness.
- Section 2: Identify policies that would thwart unlawful activity conducted by bad actors on online platforms, such as e-commerce sites, social media channels and search engines.
- Section 3: Advocate for collaborative efforts, ensuring lawful and secure trade domestically and abroad, including the enhancement of customs authorities.
- Section 4: Develop a strategy that closes the gap between online and trade-based threats in the rapidly-changing digital environment.
Without the security of a strong IP system, biopharmaceutical researchers may not have the ability to explore new areas of medical innovation and unearth the findings that will lead to the treatments of tomorrow. That’s why we applaud IPEC for working to protect IP and championing future innovation, creativity and enterprise.
We look forward to collaborating with government leaders and industry to implement the goals of the Joint Strategic Plan. Learn more about how PhRMA advocates for a modern IP system here.
Mark Grayson Mark Grayson is a former deputy vice president of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on intellectual property, trade and international issues.