Posts Tagged ‘biotechnology law’

“Isolated” Natural Products Still in Purgatory Post-PTO Guidance?

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

BacteriaRecently, a new class of antibiotic, teixobactin, was discovered in the soil in a Boston researcher’s backyard via a high throughput in situ screening chip that detected individual bacteria capable of growing in an uncultured state. The resulting isolates were extracted and the extracts screened for antibacterial activity. One peptidyl compound, isolated from a new species of bacterium and named teixobactin (“TX”), was found to kill a wide variety of pathogens without detectable resistance. The Nature pre-print I have ends, “It is likely that additional natural compounds with similarly low susceptibility to resistance are present in nature and are waiting to be discovered.”

“Discovery” seems likely, but a close reading of the examples provided with the December “2014 Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility” is not encouraging. Practitioners generally hailed the revised Guidance as releasing Examiners to allow claims on nature-based products that were structurally or functionally different from their closest counterparts in nature. However, Example 4, “Purified Proteins” indicates the PTO’s unwillingness to embrace (read “treat as precedent”) cases like Parke-Davis (Adrenaline) and Merck v. Olin-Mathieson (purified vitamin B-12).

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Genetic Engineering Makes the Blacklist

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

iStock_000003273676_LargeJames Spader was quirkily funny as Denny Crane’s partner on “Boston Legal,” but NBC’s “The Blacklist” has him operating totally outside of the law. He plays Raymond Reddington, an enigmatic figure who reveals to a black-ops FBI agent the evil doings of criminals that fly under the radar of normal law enforcement – and who make “The Blacklist.” A recent episode involved trying to catch a “mad scientist,” funded by a middle-aged tech billionaire to conduct research on human subjects for his “Longevity Initiative.” When the scientist is captured, oddly, one might think, his lab contains tanks of phosphorescent jelly fish and two bunnies that glow in the dark.

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USPTO Myriad-Mayo Guidance Still Not At An Alpha Standard

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

This is a guest post from Paul Cole.

iStock_000029586246_SmallAs readers will be aware, the USPTO published revised Guidance on Section 101 eligibility in December 2014 together with Nature-Based Examples and Abstract ideas examples. These materials and the case-law on which they were based appear on a dedicated web-page.

A Forum on the revised Guidance was held on 21 January with contributions from Raul Tamyo on behalf of the USPTO and from eight members of our profession. Their slides are accessible on the web-page. It also promises a Forum Replay in three parts, but those wishing to hear in detail what was said will be disappointed because the three links are broken and play nothing. The comments period ended on 16 March, and the absence of a workable Forum Replay (which has been pointed out to the USPTO) would arguably in itself justify an extension of the comments period for our profession and for the public.

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Enzo Biochem V. Applera Corp. – When “Words Can Hurt You”

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

iStock_000010676885_SmallOn March 16, 2015 (Appeal no. 2014-1321), the Fed. Cir. reversed the district court’s construction of a claim term relating to the scope of “A,” a moiety capable of direct or indirect signaling that is attached by a linker to a nucleotide base. (A copy of the decision can be found at the end of this post.) The claim read: “wherein A comprises at least one component of a signaling moiety capable of producing a detectable signal [wherein the linker does not interfere] with formation of the signaling moiety or detection of the detectable signal….”

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