Posts Tagged ‘USPTO’

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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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my short slideshow is posted on the AIPLA website, along with a longer “law review”-type article that is, by now, a bit out of date.)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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The “Top Ten” IP Stories of 2014 (Most “Definitely”)

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

I don’t think I can recall a more action-packed year for intellectual property law in my career, much less during the almost six years that I have been writing this blog. I am trying to write this while in transit, so there will be few footnotes or cites, but they are easy enough to find in my past posts, or online. I am not even sure that I outlined ten stories before I started typing, but here goes — in no particular order.

1,2,3 and 4. Mayo meet Alice meet Myriad - The Tortuous Path of s.101.

Although only Alice was decided in 2014, the excitement really started with the unexpected release of the PTO “Life Sciences” Guidelines in March (No. 1 Story). The draft Guidelines directed Examiners to reject claims to products of nature unless they were significantly different in structure from the products in their natural states, and declared that simple “If A, then B” diagnostic claims were patent-ineligible as attempts to patent natural phenomena.

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Mayo Meet Alice Meet Myriad – Fed. Cir. Appreciates “Abstract Art”

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

On December 20th, a panel of the Fed. Cir. of Judges Dyk, Clevinger and Prost – Dyk writing – found that six claims in Myriad’s dwindling arsenal of BRACA1 and 2 patents were invalid as claiming non-statutory subject matter. (University of Utah Res. Foundation et al. v. Ambry Genetics Corp., Appeal No. 2014-1361, -1366 (Fed. Cir., Dec. 20, 2014)). (A copy of the decision is found at the end of this post.) The decision makes more sense than some commentators have given it credit for, but it still reads like the plot of the last Matrix installment.

First, the panel invalidated four composition of matter claims directed to ssDNA segments useful to amplify the BRACA genes or portions thereof, when used as PCR primers, or to identify specific areas of the genes if used as probes. These were claims in US Pat. Nos. 5,747,282 and 5,837,492.

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