When the Senate Judiciary Committee convened on May 21 for a hearing on Competition in the Prescription Drug Market, Senators were besieged with an array of tired and superficial arguments against patents for biopharmaceutical innovation. The main premise seemed to be that holding more than a single patent for a single product must be anti-competitive. These arguments fly in the face of technological, economic, and legal reality, where patents cover inventions and discoveries rather than products. The ubiquitous mobile phone by one estimate contains 250,000 patented inventions, each adding a unique capability or solving a technical problem, which collectively enable the whole phone to work as intended.

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