Patent reform helps small firms

December 3, 2011

Kristin Jones’ Nov. 26 column, “Patent reform is mixed bag for life sciences,” offered views on the impact of the new patent law, the America Invents Act, on large and small life sciences companies in Indiana. Lilly was a champion of the new law. We firmly believe that all Indiana entrepreneurs will significantly benefit from its landmark improvements to the U.S. patent system.

The act greatly simplifies the patent law and sets more objective standards for patenting. Its provisions will remove obstacles that prevented enforcement of many valid patents. Beyond doubt, it is smaller enterprises that have limited resources to devote to securing patents that can benefit most from these types of improvements.

Further, the law establishes a new “post-grant review” system that also offers benefits to the smaller enterprise. A patent that survives this type of challenge becomes stronger and more valuable—and more attractive for companies such as Lilly as a basis for partnering with the patent owner.

For these reasons, all life sciences companies will surely benefit from the many positive features of the new patent law.

Robert A. Armitage
senior vice president, general counsel
Eli Lilly and Co.

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