MFJ International, LLC
District of Columbia
The role of intellectual property and competition policy in promoting innovation
The FTC Report To Promote Innovation: The Proper Balance of Competition and Patent Law and Policy clearly states: Competition and patents stand out among the federal policies that influence innovation. Both competition and patent policy can foster innovation, but each requires a proper balance with the other to do so. Errors or systematic biases in how one policys rules are interpreted and applied can harm the other policys effectiveness." Indeed, a certain level of protection is important to provide the necessary incentives for companies to develop new drugs but it is also equally important that competition through the launch of generic and biosimilar drugs also drive companies to innovate. In fact, longer monopolies undermine one of the most effective stimuli for innovation: competition. Trade negotiations are often the conduit to grant higher intellectual property protection delaying competition in order to secure higher drug prices both in the United States and abroad, and leaving consumers unprotected. Given that trade agreements have a serious impact on the role of intellectual property and competition policy, the FTC should play a prominent role in the determination of the language introduced in trade negotiations to prevent unintended consequences that may hinder competition and therefore consumers access to affordable drugs.