Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate have introduced companion  bills (H.R. 4287; S. 2150) that would allow the owner, or its agent, of a  “patent claiming a method of using a biological product” to apply for a  five-year extension from the patent’s original expiration date. The stated  purpose of the proposals is “[t]o advance the public health by encouraging independent innovators to pursue drug repurposing research and  develop new treatments and cures by providing appropriate intellectual  property protections for those innovations.” The House bill, introduced on  March 24, 2014, by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.), was referred to the House  Committee on the Judiciary. sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced the senate measure on the same date; it was referred to the senate  Committee on the Judiciary.