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Judiciary Committee Advances One Circuit Court Nominee, Two U.S. Attorneys, and Legislation to Improve Competition and Innovation

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee today advanced the nominations of Roopali H. Desai, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit; E. Martin Estrada, to be United States Attorney for the Central District of California; and Gregory J. Haanstad, to be United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, by voice vote.

The Committee also advanced S.4430, Interagency Patent Coordination and Improvement Act of 2022, by voice vote.

This bill—co-led by U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC)—improves information sharing between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), both of which share responsibilities to approve key facets of drug manufacturers’ products. Specifically, the bill would establish a task force to ensure the agencies are sharing information and have visibility into the work, trends, and specific data that the other agency may be engaged in; establish clearer rules of the road between PTO and FDA; and provide greater clarity and information for all stakeholders, while ensuring that confidential information is protected.

Durbin released the following statement regarding the Committee’s vote to advance his and Tillis’s legislation:

“This bipartisan legislation is a simple, good governance bill that improves information sharing between the FDA and PTO—something both agencies have publicly recognized the benefit of. This can improve patent quality, prevent conflicts and gamesmanship, and foster competition—including for prescription drugs—to the benefit of consumers. Our government operates best when we work together, and I thank Senator Tillis for joining me in this bipartisan effort.”