50 most influential people in IP 2022: MIP recognises Joe Biden of the US government
Joe Biden is the president of the US
The US president hasn’t exactly been a popular figure among intellectual property professionals – and for good reason.
Joe Biden supported a waiver for the IP surrounding COVID treatments at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2021. The president’s support turned the waiver from a fringe project into a serious proposal. The waiver passed at the WTO this year.
On top of that, Biden finally secured enough support for his Build Back Better legislation – now called the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) – this year.
The act implemented some of the most radical changes to US healthcare law since the Affordable Care Act, and seriously undercut pharma IP rights in the process.
Signed into law by Biden on August 16, the IRA imposed a requirement on drug makers to negotiate prices with Medicare on selected products as of 2026, among other things.
Pharma counsel across the spectrum condemned the law. Innovators felt the IRA attacked the heart of the patent system, while generics argued that the legislation undermined their entire industry.
Under Biden, the US government also scrapped its policy on standard essential patents. The last policy, brought in under the Trump administration in 2019, was fairly pro patentee.
Rather than introduce a new policy that was more favourable to patent implementers, as was expected, the Biden administration threw the whole thing in the garbage, saying the move was the “best course of action for promoting both competition and innovation”.