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News & Press: Public Policy Statements

Licensing Executives Society (USA & Canada) Position on Health Care Overhaul Adopted

Wednesday, March 31, 2010  
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WASHINGTON D.C., March 31, 2010 – The Licensing Executives Society (USA and Canada), Inc. has announced that a provision of the recently enacted Health Care Overhaul Bill that would have made certain patent settlement agreements illegal was removed just prior to the Bill’s passage in the House.

As the Health Care Overhaul Bill wound its way through the Senate, an amendment was added imposing strict antitrust scrutiny on agreements settling pharmaceutical patent litigation. In effect, such agreements, regardless of their terms, would have become presumptively illegal, thereby frustrating the efforts of branded and generic companies to structure deals to promptly resolve such disputes.

At the urging of members from both the branded and generic industries, the LES (USA & Canada) Committee on Public Policy and Legislation prepared a paper analyzing the provision in an effort to educate both legislators and the public at large. The Committee noted that such agreements can be highly pro-competitive, and that the prompt resolution of such disputes conserves resources often applied to additional research or more meritorious claims. Additionally, such settlements can bring generic drugs to market sooner than they might otherwise. The paper was announced publicly in a press release and distributed to every member of both the Senate and the House. Although the provision remained in the Senate Bill as sent to the House, legislators removed it from the House version just days before passage.

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About Licensing Executives Society (USA & Canada) Established in 1965, the Licensing Executives Society (USA & Canada), Inc. (LES) is a professional society comprised of over 5,000 members engaged in the transfer, use, development and marketing of intellectual property. The LES membership includes a wide range of professionals, including business executives, lawyers, licensing consultants, engineers, academicians, scientists and government officials. Many large corporations, professional firms, and universities comprise the Society's membership.

Licensing Executives Society (U.S.A. & Canada), Inc. is a member society of the Licensing Executives Society International, Inc. (LESI), with a worldwide membership of over 11,000 members in 32 national societies, representing over 90 countries. For more information on LES, see www.lesusacanada.org