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Hatch IP legislation

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Bipartisan sponsors in Congress introduce bills April 18 proposing reforms in patent and intellectual property protection - a top issue for the dietary supplement industry - but say they expect revisions in the face of criticism from the pharmaceutical industry. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, says the Patent Reform Act of 2007 (S. 114) has a good chance to pass, but noted at a press conference, "I hope big pharma is not too active" in fighting the legislation. Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., is sponsoring a House version of the bill (H.R. 1908). Drug firms oppose provisions to limit awards in infringement suits and allow requests to the Patent and Trademark Office to review a patent throughout its term. The House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property will hold a hearing on the topic April 26. Supplement industry representatives and manufacturers say an inability to obtain patent protection hinders the industry. They suggest collaboration among firms along with trade group input would help reduce occasions of infringement (1"The Tan Sheet, Feb. 5, 2007, p. 8). Similar bills introduced in the past two years failed to pass (2"The Tan Sheet," June 6, 2005, p. 9)...

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