Forbes – How The Biden Administration Could Shape IP Policy — And How Businesses Can Prepare

Anant Kataria, CEO & Co-Founder @ Sagacious IP. Ensuring Sagacious’s clients’ success with excellent IP support by a global 300-member team.

Knowledge, Data and Protection

Soon after Joe Biden was elected as the new president of the U.S., it was evident that several structural changes would soon be in the pipeline. Biden had asked people to imagine a more “hopeful version” of America, and he highlighted his economic priorities in his “Build Back Better” economic plan.

As the CEO and co-founder of an intellectual property research firm, I’m paying close attention to Biden’s plans with regards to the IP sector specifically, and I’ve found his commitment has been quite categorical. So, let’s take a look at how I think the Biden administration could shape IP policy, as well as what I believe it could mean for leaders in the space.

Biden’s Plan To Tackle ‘Assault On American Creativity’

When Biden was sworn in as president in January, he and Vice President Kamala Harris received a letter from the executive director of Innovation Alliance urging the administration to empower the U.S. patent system. The executive director argued that the system needs strengthening.

In another plan, Biden stated that the administration would “confront foreign efforts to steal American intellectual property.” Here are a few areas pertaining to IP that could undergo significant changes.

1. Technology theft: Biden has said he plans to confront those who “steal American IP” by introducing new sanctions to cut off companies found guilty of technology theft from access to U.S. markets, as well as tackling state-sponsored cyber espionage against U.S. companies.

2. American agriculture technology: In a plan for rural America, Biden emphasized that agricultural patents issued to private businesses for inventions that were derived from publicly funded research contribute suboptimally to the benefits of American citizens. So, he proposed multiple solutions, one of which included reforming patent laws to protect small farmers by strengthening enforcement of the Sherman & Clayton Antitrust Acts and the Packers & Stockyards Act.Forbes Small Business.

3False advertising: In December, the Federal Trade Commission entered into a settlement worth $1.2 million for a product that falsely claimed to be made in the U.S. Under the Biden-Harris rule, I believe the enforcement related to deceptive “Made in USA” products is likely to increase. As stated in the Biden plan, the administration is planning to crack down on firms falsely labeling products as “Made in America” and enforce tougher penalties to tackle false advertising.

4. Pharmaceutical patent rights: The Biden administration is determined to “never face shortages” of medical drugs and equipment by bringing the supply chain back to America. One proposed solution to this is a plan focused on reducing drug prices that was sponsored by Harris in 2020. According to Market Watch, Harris could use “march-in” rights, which allow the government to revoke patents for products deemed too expensive and license them to lower-cost rivals.

5. Competition: In his plan, Biden talked about supporting and protecting American innovation, and this shows me the administration is making a commitment to strengthening the patent system.

How Leaders Can Prepare

While the Biden administration has laid out an extensive plan for the intellectual property sector, it is important to realize that most of these initiatives have not been implemented yet. If the U.S. administration executes these plans as intended, businesses must prepare in advance to leverage the opportunities that it will create.

For instance, Biden’s clear agenda is to safeguard American innovation. Therefore, it is the right time for companies to track and spot where they are losing business to counterfeit or mislabelled products. There’s a possibility that companies may garner stronger support in such matters.

Similarly, before entering into business deals or mergers and acquisitions involving overseas entities, it is more pertinent now to ensure thorough due diligence of the entities. A business partnership relying on a company that may end up being barred could hurt your goodwill as well as finances.

In the pharmaceutical sector, generic pharma companies could consider investing more in identifying drugs whose patents are being evergreened or those drugs where generic pharma companies can offer substantially low prices. If Harris’ plan comes in motion, such preparedness could be leveraged.

Similarly, in the agricultural sector, farmers and agriculture-based businesses might benefit from identifying if they are paying more for the technologies they use and if it is because the technologies are covered by university patents, which are now co-owned by or licensed to the companies they are buying the technologies from.

Lastly, non-U.S. businesses operating in the U.S. should audit their practices to eliminate the scope for unintentional misdeeds. This can minimize the impact on their business if any policy comes into effect.

Meanwhile, since all the above-mentioned policies are in the planning phase, these are just speculations. Therefore, what I encourage all businesses to do for now is to ensure they’re better prepared.


I believe former President Donald Trump’s term brought positive changes to the patent regime for innovators. It appears to me that President Biden’s plan to rebuild America also focuses on recognizing the value of America’s innovators and fighting to protect them. The impact of innovation comprises nearly 40% of the country’s economic growth and employment. Over time, tracking the implementation and impact of these IP policies on the ground will help assess their efficacy.

Originally published on:—and-how-businesses-can-prepare/?sh=4c6c13147f07

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