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4 Ways a Strong Patent System Benefits the U.S.

Eli Lilly and Company  | April 25, 2019

The lifeblood of the biopharmaceutical industry lies in our inventions – new, innovative medicines that can save millions of lives and reduce the need for other health care services. 

Patents play a critical role in that innovation. They protect new ideas and encourage useful innovations to spring from these ideas. Here are four ways a strong patent system benefits the United States: 

  • Intellectual property (IP) promotes scientific progress: A robust U.S. patent system promotes competition and gives innovator companies certainty that their invention is protected, while at the same time making specifics of the invention public so others can use it as the foundation for future invention and discovery.   

  • IP fuels American innovation and jobs: Strong and reliable U.S. patent protections encourage industries like biopharmaceutical companies to invest in R&D jobs and manufacturing in this country. In fact, IP-intensive industries employ more than 45 million Americans.   

  • IP enables the U.S. to remain globally competitive: Thanks to recent U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reforms that provide greater transparency to the patent process, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center recently ranked the country in second place for Patents in its 2019 International IP Index.   

  • IP creates better health: The biopharmaceutical industry relies on strong IP protections to discover and develop medicines that provide new and better treatment options for patients. IP, including patents and data protection, is essential to tomorrow’s cures for today’s unmet medical needs. 

Strong intellectual property rights – including patent protections – provide the certainty needed to make high-risk R&D possible, spurring the discovery of medicines that make life better for people around the world.