By Mark C. Rogers, MD MBA
As the United States has changed its economic model from the industrial base of the early and mid twentieth century to the discovery and entrepreneurial base that now characterizes large portions of the modern economy, the key role of intellectual property has become critical. Without the ability to patent discoveries in an understandable and predictable fashion, the financial investments in discoveries would not be available to convert them from ideas to demonstration projects and ultimately to economically potent companies. As a result, the United States has long decried other countries which historically have not abided by the rules that the rest of the world used to protect intellectual property.
All through this period, the United States has had a relatively stable environment for the principles of management of intellectual property as it applies to biotechnology. Starting with the Bayh-Dole Act, which this journal has covered extensively in several issues, and moving on to the discussion of the economic issues associated with companies that patent genes, the scientists, the companies, and the markets have known what to expect. Now this may no longer be true.
With this as a background, the journal has an issue specifically devoted to the changing landscape of intellectual property in biotechnology and the timing could not have been more appropriate.
Download to read the full text of journal editor Mark C. Rogers' introduction to the Special Edition of MIB devoted to Patent Reform