Patrick Kilbride is senior vice president of the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. There, he oversees the center’s multilateral and international programs promoting the protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights, managing a team of country and regional experts.
Previously, Kilbride was Executive Director, Americas Strategic Policy Initiatives, and Executive Vice President, Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America (AACCLA), within the Chamber’s International Division.
Prior to joining the U.S. Chamber, Kilbride was appointed to serve in the Bush administration as deputy assistant U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for Intergovernmental Affairs & Public Liaison. At USTR, Kilbride worked with state and local officials, business organizations, and non-governmental organizations to advance the President’s trade policy agenda; he served as USTR liaison to the network of industry trade advisory committees (ITACs), as well as the President’s Export Council; and, he was part of a White House-led, inter-agency team that coordinated efforts to secure congressional approval of pending U.S. free trade agreements.
Previously, Kilbride was director of Government Affairs at the Council of the Americas, where he played leading roles in industry coalition efforts that saw the network of U.S. free trade partners in the Americas expand from two countries to twelve in less than a decade. At the American Apparel & Footwear Association, Kilbride represented U.S. apparel manufacturers as government relations representative, helping to secure enactment of the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership and African Growth and Opportunity Acts.
Kilbride began his career in global economic policy as an international trade specialist with the law firm of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae.
He is a graduate of the George Washington University, and resides with his family in Alexandria, Virginia.
With summer underway in the United States, we want to believe the global pandemic is ending. In many cities, restaurants are at near-full capacity, scaled-back festivals are taking place, and companies are preparing to gradually welcome workers back into the office. Meanwhile, other cities around the world haven’t been as lucky. Flashpoints across India continue to fuel that country’s spike in COVID-19 cases while residents of Tokyo, with their low vaccination rates, nervously await the Summer Olympic Games this August. The African continent is experiencing a multi-variant and potentially devastating resurgence of cases.
Starting a business is steeped with uncertainty, especially during a global pandemic. Small business owners are constantly running through the scenarios: Can I make payroll? Will I recoup my investment? Can I change my community for the better? There are plenty of systems at play that tell them, “No.” It’s too difficult to get a loan; the commercial real estate market is too competitive; advertising and marketing is too expensive. Even so, there’s one system that sings a resounding, “Yes!” That’s America’s intellectual property system.
One would think it was ripped from today’s headlines: a deadly respiratory disease sweeps across the world—killing one person every 22 seconds. But this disease is not COVID-19. The threat is tuberculosis (or TB), which has flourished for centuries thanks to the ability of the bacteria that cause the disease (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) to quickly spread from person to person through the air that we breathe. Even though treatments exist, TB can easily become a chronic or fatal condition if left unchecked. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2019, 10 million people became ill with TB, and 1.4 million people lost their lives to the disease—a serious, even silent pandemic that is deadlier than HIV.
The biggest vaccination effort in the history of medicine is underway to eradicate the global pandemic, with several strong prospects appearing poised for regulatory approval. As of December 2020, data from the World Health Organization showed over 50 vaccine candidates in clinical research, and 163 more in the preclinical stage. The wait could soon be over. Two separate vaccines – one from Pfizer and BioNTech and one from Moderna – are pending emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The former is already being administered for the first time outside of clinical trials following its approval by the UK government. That’s why recent calls to strip away intellectual property protections are so dangerous. Specifically, some nations have asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to waive intellectual property protections related to COVID-19 – including not only vaccines, treatments, diagnostics, and medical technologies, but all forms of IP – until the majority of the world’s population has developed immunity. They argue that the current global intellectual property system is a barrier to accessing said COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, diagnostics, and medical technologies.
Promoting public health has always been a bipartisan priority in Washington, D.C. Under the previous administration, lawmakers passed the 21st Century Cures Act and launched the cancer moonshot, two initiatives that aimed to transform health outcomes through greater investment in the next generation of medical treatments. In his State of the Union address last month, President Trump announced an ambitious plan to end HIV/AIDS by 2030 and increase funding for often-neglected childhood cancers. For each of these initiatives to be successful, lawmakers must recognize that investing in the cures of tomorrow requires continued bipartisan cooperation. This rings true for passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), as well. The next generation of medical innovation depends on significant private sector investments. The intellectual property (IP) provisions of USMCA help to lay the foundation for continued investment into the research and development (R&D) of innovative cures across North America. In particular, the 10-year term of regulatory data protection for biologics will help ensure that North America continues to lead the world in developing life-saving technologies.
As we reflect on the one-year anniversary of India’s IPR policy, it is fitting that Indian government leaders are focused on job creation… Ultimately, though, India will be unable to take full advantage of the transformative benefits of a strong IP system unless and until it addresses gaps in its IP laws and regulations.