Posts Tagged ‘Warren Woessner’

Obama Launches Cancer Moonshot Task Force – But Where’s The Patent Power?

Monday, February 8th, 2016

iStock_000035457638_SmallOn January 28, 2016, the White House issued a Memorandum establishing the Moonshot Task Force “to double the rate of progress in the fight against cancer – and put ourselves on a path to achieve in just 5 years research and treatment gains that otherwise might take a decade or more.” (A copy can be found at the end of this post.) The Task force, chaired by the VP, is to focus on “making the most of Federal Investments, targeted incentives, private sector efforts from industry and philanthropy, patient engagement initiatives, and other mechanisms to support cancer research and enable progress in treatment and care.” No mention of the importance of patent protection so far.

The membership will consist of the heads of 13 executive branch departments, agencies, and offices, including NIH, DOE, FDA, and NSF, among other. The head of the Department of Commerce is included, but the USPTO is not mentioned once.  However, I have been informed by the PTO Press Secretary that the USPTO, including Director Lee and Chief of Staff Aiyer attended the February 4th Task Force Meeting. The Task Force is to provide a report before the end of the year that includes seven recommendations, including to “identify and address any unnecessary regulatory barriers and consider ways to expedite administrative reforms.”

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Will Copyright Law Put Us on a Path to International Patent Exhaustion?

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

This is a guest post from Theresa Stadheim of Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner.

This article was first published by the American Intellectual Property Law (AIPLA) Patent Law Committee in its January 2016 newsletter.  For membership in AIPLA, visit here

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Will Copyright Law Put Us on a Path to International Patent Exhaustion? Lexmark v. Impression Products

Under the doctrine of patent exhaustion, once a patented product is sold in a sale authorized by the patent holder, patent rights in that product are exhausted.  Domestic patent exhaustion (i.e., patent exhaustion upon a domestic sale) is a common law doctrine in the United States, as well as being generally accepted worldwide.  However, the current Lexmark v. Impression Products litigation has raised the issue of whether international sales should also lead to exhaustion of patent rights.

The Lexmark v. Impression Products litigation

Lexmark manufactures printers and toner cartridges used in those printers.  In Lexmark Int’l, Inc. v. Ink Techs. Printer Supplies, LLC, plaintiff Lexmark alleged that it first sold the patented inkjet cartridges at issue outside of the United States, and that these cartridges were later acquired and remanufactured by defendants, including Impression Products, thereby infringing Lexmark’s patent.[i]

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Patents – Year In Review

Monday, February 1st, 2016

This is republished with the permission of the authors Stephen Beney, Partner, and Nicholas Aitken, Associate, Bereskin & Parr LLP, It was originally published by Bereskin & Parr LLP at www.bereskinparr.com on January 28, 2016.

iStock_000081139525_SmallIn 2015, Canadian courts and the Patent Appeal Board issued decisions which deemed non-infringing alternatives to affect damages for patent infringement, assessed a license agreement by reference to U.S. patent law, and addressed invalidity for obviousness.

These are our selections for the most influential Canadian patent cases of 2015, outside of life sciences:

Damages

In Apotex Inc. v. Merck & Co., Inc., [2015 FCA 171], the Federal Court of Appeal made a landmark decision which declared that damages for patent infringement may be assessed with a view to the availability of a non-infringing alternative. The FCA held that “[perfect compensation] requires consideration of: (i) what, if any, non-infringing product the defendant or any other competitors could and would have sold ‘but for’ the infringement; and (ii) the extent lawful competition would have reduced the patentee’s sales.” Although the decision was made in the context of pharmaceuticals, it is expected to be widely applicable to patents in other technical fields such as mechanical, electrical and computer technology.

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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…)