The BIA’s eight Advisory Committees are crucial mechanisms for highlighting issues facing bioscience companies, debating and influencing sector and policy developments, and providing useful networking communities for BIA members in their respective areas of focus.

On 25 February 2016, the BIA is hosting its second Committee Summit, where all BIA members are welcome to attend and check out some of the Committee meetings. Registration closes shortly so do sign up today.

Ahead of the event we will be highlighting some of the Committee’s work and areas of focus on the blog. Today we shine a light on the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee.

Chaired by John Murphy of Skyepharma, the IP Advisory Committee (IPAC) brings together in-house legal advisers with lawyers and patent attorneys from private practice to provide expert advice to the BIA and its members on IP issues that impact the sector.

The blog, looking back over IPAC’s achievements in 2015, goes live as the BIA publishes two member briefing documents that the Committee has prepared on the respective issues of the Nagoya Protocol and the new patent system in Europe.

These guides are intended to help members navigate the impact of some fairly complex issues on their business. The Nagoya Protocol concerns the use of genetic resources in R&D and this paper gives a thorough yet concise briefing on what you, as a business working with genetic resources need to do to adhere with new compliance rules. The second briefing provides an overview of the new patent system being set up in Europe and the questions you should ask yourself in relation to future patent filing.

These are just two IP developments that the Committee has been involved with over the past year. In addition to the development of these papers, members of the Committee have also attended Defra-led stakeholder meetings on the implementation of Nagoya and inputted to the BIA’s consultation response on fee levels for the new Unified Patent Court.

The Committee keeps a watching brief on a wider variety of IP issues that have the potential to impact the sector, depending on the direction of travel from policy makers. Issues on the agenda over the past year have included grace periods, the Biotech Directive and Supplementary Protection Certificates. This latter issue will become a greater focus for the Committee in 2016 as the European Commission conducts a thorough review of SPCs as part of its review of the Single Market.

One of the highlights of IPAC’s work in 2015 was the submission of a well-received amicus brief in the US Ariosa v Sequenom case. The BIA’s brief highlighted the detrimental impact the original court ruling could have on R&D funding for innovate products, global trade, market access and consistent patent eligibility standards across the globe. As the case appeal is likely to progress for hearing at the US Supreme Court, the BIA intends to contribute again, heightening our international profile and contributing to key case law that has the potential to be incredibly impactful on the future of our sector.

Keen to learn more? Then do come along to the Committee Summit on 25 February and learn more about the work of the Intellectual Property Committee alongside the seven other areas of focus from our Advisory Groups – Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine, Communications, Finance and Tax, Manufacturing, People, Regulatory Affairs and Synthetic Biology.