Posts Tagged ‘biotechnology’

Patents4Life is Six Years Old this Month. Happy Birthday to Us!

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASix years ago, In re Kubin caused a flurry of concern among biotech practitioners, and a short article on this decision was the first post on Patents4Life. That was a pretty big “story” at the time but we all had no idea what was coming our way. It is difficult to think of an area of patent law that hasn’t been through a sea change since 2009, or at least has not encountered some very high seas.

There are not enough hours in today to do even a cursory review of the “State of Patent Law” since Patents4Life was started. Of course, one of the hottest topics right now is the scope of s. 101, and its breadth will surely be adjusted as the precedent piles up. And just consider, all of this debate is completely outside of the changes wrought in 35 USC by the AIA, the rise of generic biologicals that was set off by the ACA (“Obamacase”) and the Therasense, Teva v. Sandoz and Nautilus decisions.

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Universities Response to Patent “Reform” Legislation

Friday, February 27th, 2015

iStock_000015456314_Small copyOn February 24th, a letter sent by the Association of American Universities, signed by 145 universities, to Senators Grassley and Leahy and Representatives Goodlatte and Conyers, objected to parts of legislation such as “The Innovation Act, H.R. 9” that purports to deter litigation by non-practicing entities, such as patent “trolls.” The Universities emphasized the damage that fee-shifting provisions requiring the loser of an infringement suit to pay the winner’s costs and fees would do to educational and research institutions that already find it financially difficult to enforce their IP rights. The letter pointed out the chilling effect such provisions would have on attempts to license technology, especially to start-ups. Also noted was the fact that mandatory joinder provisions could draw a university and its inventors into litigation initiated by third parties over which the university has little control.

“Precision Medicine” Initiative Leaves Patents “Lost in Space”

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

iStock_000009217209_SmallOn January 30th, the White House released a press release expanding upon President Obama’s mention of “precision medicine” in his State of the Union Address. Not surprisingly, the details are pretty much what we who are involved in various aspects of “personalized medicine” would expect – an emphasis on the use of genomic diagnostics to improve treatment selection – especially for cancer patients. The largest of the “Key Investments” listed would be to the NIH to develop what looks like the creation of a reference data base “through engaged participants and open, responsible data sharing.” The NCI would get $70 million to “identify genomic drivers in cancer” and develop more effective approaches to treatment.

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Section 101 at the AIPLA Midwinter Meeting

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Although the primary focus of this four day meeting was licensing, there were two simultaneous tracks that contained at least a section of the effect/uncertainty of the recent judicial decisions and PTO Guidelines on licensor/licensee relationships. (I spoke at one of them, and my short slideshow is posted on the AIPLA website, along with a longer “law review”-type article that is, by now, a bit out of date.)

What got me out of bed this morning was the “President’s Forum –What’s Next for Patent Eligibility: Federal Circuit and the USPTO Gloss.” It was chaired by Sharon Israelson, current AIPLA president and included Jerry Selinger – who is heading up an AIPLA working group on the issue, Myra McCormack of J&J, Nate Kelly, Solicitor, USPTO and Jim Crowne of AIPLA. Of course, this was too many speakers for an hour-long forum.

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