Biotechnology has been a cornerstone of Europe's competitiveness in terms of research, innovation, market capitalisation, and industrial growth, including job and company creation at Member State level. Effective intellectual property protection is one of the key drivers of the research-intensive, high-tech biotechnology sector (including start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises), a sector which stands out as one of the global industries with the highest percentage of sales re-invested in research and development. Without the prospect of a reasonable return on investment, biotech companies in the sectors of healthcare, agriculture and industrial applications would not be in a position to bear the substantial costs of developing cutting-edge innovation.
Therefore, companies involved in biotechnology as well as investors depend on a stable and effective environment for the protection of intellectual property. In the European Union, the Biotech Patent Directive is an essential tool to promote research and innovation and has greatly improved technology transfer and sharing of scientific findings by defining a stable and predictable patent framework.
What holds true in Europe, holds equally true globally where the biotech sector needs predictability and uniformity in intellectual property protection across jurisdictions, while maintaining a proper balance of rewards, to continue on its path to progress and deliver solutions to the world’s most pressing needs.