AdvocacyIntellectual Property

Intellectual Property (IP) is the bedrock on which the development of new treatments and cures is built. IP is critical to improving patient care, spurring economic growth and strengthening an innovation economy. Without the protections of a strong, modern IP system, researchers may not have the ability to explore new areas of medical innovation and unearth the findings that will lead to the treatments and cures of tomorrow.

What is IP?

Intellectual Property protections are the laws that enable people and organizations to make the investments necessary to develop new technologies and to defend their proprietary inventions or products.

There are three key elements for an effective intellectual property system:

  • Provide fair and effective incentives for innovation
  • Provide innovators certainty regarding their rights
  • Offer patent holders strong enforcement tools for defending infringed patents 

Learn more about Intellectual Property at the Clinical Trials page

IP in the Economy

The U.S. biopharmaceutical industry powers the nation’s research and development (R&D) economy and helps keep America at the forefront of advanced technology development. The industry ranks first in its share of total manufacturing R&D employment among all U.S. manufacturing industries, and is responsible for about one out of every six dollars spent on R&D by U.S. businesses. The biopharmaceutical industry also is a key generator of new intellectual property and attracts major venture capital investment.

The biopharmaceutical industry is directly responsible for more than 850,000 jobs and a total of 4.4 million total jobs (direct, indirect and induced).

IP and Innovation

Biopharmaceutical intellectual property (IP) protections, such as patents and data protection, provide the incentives that spur R&D.  They help ensure that the innovative biopharmaceutical companies that have invested in life-saving medicines have an opportunity to justify their investments.

The U.S. IP infrastructure sustains continuing investments and provides the apparatus necessary to funding research into new treatments and cures for our most costly and challenging diseases.

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IP and International

Intellectual property systems differ from country to country. Nations like the United States, Japan, and some European nations enjoy strong, modern approaches to intellectual property that encourage investment and innovation. However, many countries, including nations like Canada, China, and India, embrace IP systems that discourage medical innovation by not providing adequate protections, ultimately diminishing patient access to new treatments and cures. In addition, PhRMA supports IP Progress - Discovery the Power of Invention. Visit their website to learn more.

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IP and Treatment Options for Patients

Intellectual property protections and effective IP systems are key to ensuring that biopharmaceutical companies are able to pursue the R&D that leads to the discovery of tomorrow’s life-changing and life-saving new medicines.  Intellectual property leads directly to better treatment options for patients.

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