Today's guest blog is written by Harrison Cook, Vice President for International Government Affairs here at Lilly. Before joining Lilly in 2003, Mr. Cook served as the Chief of Deregulation and Trade Policy in the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Japan, where he was the lead technical negotiator with Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
This morning I was scheduled to participate on a panel discussing intellectual property issues at the 2012 BIO International Convention. Unfortunately, due to travel complications (I was on the plane, but there was just no one to fly it!), I was not able to make it to the panel on time. Therefore, I thought I would take this opportunity to write a guest blog and, in honor of BIO, offer my perspectives on the importance of strong intellectual property standards in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and for the Biotech industry.
As I have said before, strong intellectual property standards in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are necessary to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in the discovery and creation of new medicines. Intellectual property is a fundamental building block of the TPP architecture, to ensure that a standard of 21st Century rules and regulations are solidified in the agreement. Unfortunately, it is inherently difficult and uncertain to protect the intellectual property of biologics, because they are large, complex compounds, which cannot be patented with a molecular formula. This is why data exclusivity or data protection is so critical for biologics, and why to help promote the continued development of biomedical research in the Unites States U.S. law provides 12-years of data exclusivity for biologics. To promote robust stimulation to such research and development in the Asia-Pacific region it is critical that TPP establish such a standard.
I have blogged before about the important economic role strong intellectual property standards can play for job creation and economic growth in the U.S. and abroad. Strong IP plays a critical role in the continued success of the biotech industry, which, with over 65 countries represented at this year's contention, is truly a global industry. However, that strong support is also very important for us at home. It is not an accident that in the U.S. we have the world-leading biotech sector; it is because we have high intellectual property standards in U.S. law that encourage innovation and foster economic prosperity.
Next week, the 13th round of trade negotiations for the TPP will continue take place in San Diego. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) will be there to negotiate with representatives from the 11 other TPP nations. I strongly encourage the USTR to encourage strong intellectual property standards that are in-line with U.S. law to encourage innovation and foster economic prosperity through the trade agreement, just as we have seen for the Biotech sector here in the U.S.