Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, the ranking member and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, released a statement July 8.
The statement was released after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit last week refused to reconsider what has effectively become a per se bar against the patenting of medical diagnostics, and several judges urged Congress to course correct U.S. patent laws.
“Last week's ruling by the Federal Circuit is a clear example of why reforming our patent laws — and Section 101 in particular — is both urgent and critical,” said the senators. “Life-saving technologies like medical diagnostics are now being excluded from the patent system despite the judges themselves agreeing that these innovations should be eligible for patents. The courts are sending a message to Congress that's been clear to entrepreneurs, businesses and innovators for years now: America's patent laws are stifling innovation and effectively incentivizing researchers, inventors and investors to head elsewhere. We're committed to reforming our patent laws to ensure that the U.S. remains the world leader in innovation, and we're eager to continue working with all the relevant stakeholders to do that as effectively as possible."