Posts Tagged ‘biotechnology news’

Myriad vs. Mayo – Detection vs. Processing at the Fed. Cir.

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

iStock_000005967663_SmallRapid Litigation Mgmt v. CellzDirect: Splitting Detection of a Natural Phenomenon from its Application to Yield a Product.

Courtenay G. Brinkerhoff at pharmapatentsblog.com summarized the oral arguments at the Fed. Cir. (App. No. 15-1570) conducted on April 5, 2016 in Rapid Litigation Mgmt Ltd. v. CellzDirect, Inc. (You can download an MP3 of the oral arguments here.) The district court invalidated claims directed to a method for isolating hepatocytes that can survive more than one freeze-thaw cycle as a patent-ineligible law of nature (US Pat. No. 7,604,929):

1.    A method of producing a desired preparation of multi-cryopreserved hepatocytes….comprising:

(A)  Subjecting hepatocytes that have been frozen and thawed to density gradient fractionation to separate viable hepatocytes from non-viable hepatocytes,

(B)  Recovering the separated viable hepatocytes, and

(C)  Cryopreserving the recovered viable hepatocytes to thereby form said desired preparation of hepatocytes without requiring a density gradient step after thawing the hepatocytes for the second time, wherein the hepatocytes are not plated between the first and the second cryopreservations, and wherein greater than 50% of the hepatocytes of said preparation are viable after the final thaw.

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Ohio Willow Wood’s Appeal of IC Finding Goes Up In Smoke

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

iStock_000062460636_SmallOn February 19th, the Fed. Cir. affirmed a District Court’s finding of inequitable conduct in Ohio Willow Wood Co. (OWW) v. Alps South (Alps), LLC, following the Fed. Cir.’s remand of summary judgment of no inequitable conduct in 2013. (Ohio Willow Wood Cr. v. Alps South LLC, 2015 U.S. App LEXIS 2864 (Fed. Cir. 2016).) (A copy is available at the end of this post.)

The facts of the case are complex, and involve two reexaminations of U.S. Pat. No. 5,830,237, claiming a cushioning device for amputees, “SSGL.”

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Therasense Puts A World Of (Antitrust) Hurt On 3M

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

iStock_000000232341_SmallCommentators who have declared inequitable conduct dead and buried should study TransWeb, LLC v. 3M Innovative Properties Co., App. No. 2014-1646 (Fed. Cir., Feb. 10 2016). {A copy can be found at the end of this post.] The decision demonstrates how the “but-for materiality” and specific intent standards of the Therasense decision can open the door to Walker Process liability for antitrust violations and the award of trebled fees and damages.

In this case, 3M had sued TransWeb for patent infringement of several patents on non-woven, fluorinated fabrics used in respirator masks. The patents were invalidated due to 3M’s failure to disclose that it had obtained samples of the fabric from TransWeb, that had given away samples at a trade show more than a year prior to the effective filing date of the patents. There is a thorough analysis of the facts surrounding 3M’s obtention of the samples, but the Fed. Cir. found that the weight of the evidence corroborated the testimony of the TransWeb founder, that he had given out samples of the claimed product. This was enough to invalidate the 3M patents under the public use bar.

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Labeling GMO’s — Too Late and Too Much

Friday, January 29th, 2016

iStock_000066549553_SmallCommentators arguing that genetically-modified plants (and animals) or “GMO’s” have been prepared by conventional plant breeding, fail to address the central issue driving the debate about the safety of genetically-engineered crops intended for human consumption.  The issue is not whether or not it is safe to continue to crossbreed different varieties of wheat or corn, or any other plant, to yield improved traits.  This is indeed botanical intervention that has been going on for centuries.

In recent years, companies like Pioneer and Monsanto developed the ability to introduce genes that were isolated from non-plant sources, such as bacteria, into corn, soybeans, cotton and other crops.  Such genes impart properties to the “transgenic” plants such as the ability to resist attack by the European corn borer or to be resistant to glyphosphate (“Roundup”), a relatively non-toxic herbicide, so that it can be used to control weeds while not harming the cash crop.  However, such genes are foreign to the host plant.  This has led “green” organizations to oppose their use to produce “Frankenfoods” that raise human health issues, or at least have demanded the such food or food products be labeled as produced from “GMOs,” so that consumers can choose whether or not to consume them. (more…)