Regulatory Missteps Threaten Medical Device Innovation

 

By Eb Bright

For generations here in the United States, patents have been the engine of innovation. Whether it’s individual inventors, companies, or researchers at universities, the protections provided by patents for those attempting to make the world a better place have driven improvements that have bolstered our economy, addressed medical crises, and improved our lives. Over the course of time, patents have evolved in parallel with technological advancements from manufactured products to software technology. 

We have seen a seismic shift in patent development, too, as a greater proportion of patents are focused on software in the 21st century. We find ourselves in a Golden Age of invention—with key new technologies making our lives better, making our day-to-day processes more efficient, and, in the medical field, helping to improve the quality of life and save lives through invention.

Unfortunately, a decade of changes caused by court decisions, Congressional missteps, and the predatory behavior of a few bad actors has threatened the U.S. patent system, a lifeblood of our economy. Nowhere is this more clear than in the medical device industry, where new inventions are being put on hold, innovation is suffering, and the impact of these decisions are being seen every day.

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