Author Archive: Roy Zwahlen

Roy Zwahlen

Roy is Associate Counsel at BIO and the main contributor for Patently Biotech. He is a lawyer by training, with a background in international and national politics. He grew up in the developing world and believes that innovation can and does solve many of the world’s problems. Because of this, his work focuses on creating a worldwide policy environment that fosters innovation in the biotechnology sector to prevent and cure diseases such as HIV, to increase crop yields to feed more people, and to decrease the harmful effects of industry on the environment. Roy spends his free time keeping up with his three kids, a wife that knows everything (no joke), and serving in his church and broader community. Learn more about Roy from his Linkedin Profile.

Latest Posts

BIO IP Counsels Conference Agenda Topics

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Join us in Austin for BIO’s Intellectual Property Counsels Committee Conference on April 16-18.  Agenda topics are below. The Decline of Process Patents: This session will examine the enforceability of process claims and how it has led to the recent controversy around divided infringement. Unlike claims to machines, manufactures, and compositions, process claims can be divided up by different actors, or by jurisdiction, and conceivably even by time.  Right now the focus is on different Read More >

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PTO Genetic Testing Study: What’s Patents Got to Do with It

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The USPTO held a hearing on February 16 to collect testimony from interested parties to discuss factors affecting the availability of confirmatory, or second opinion, genetic testing.  However, the hearing quickly devolved into testimonies addressing so called ‘gene patents’ and genetic testing more broadly. Dr. Hans Sauer testified on behalf of BIO and first raised the question whether there is in fact patient demand for an ‘independent second opinion genetic test.’  While doctors would likely Read More >

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Biotech IP Challenges Around the World: BIO’s Special 301 Submission

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BIO recently submitted its Special 301 Submission highlighting intellectual property (IP) challenges around the world.  In particular, BIO informed the United States Trade Representative (USTR) of the persistent problems biotech companies face with issues including counterfeiting, large backlogs and patent office inefficiency, differing judicial standards for enforcement, compulsory licensing, inadequate data protection, lack of patentability of biotech inventions, overbearing genetic resources access and benefit regimes, technology transfer issues and a great need for international harmonization Read More >

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Patent Awards for Humanitarian Ventures

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The USPTO recently announced the Patents for Humanity Challenge which awards patent owners and licensees for innovations that address humanitarian needs.  Judges will chose winners from four categories: Medical technology – includes medicines, vaccines, diagnostic equipment, or assistive devices. Food and nutrition – includes agricultural technology like drought-resistant crops, more nutritious crop strains, farming equipment, and technologies that improve food storage, preservation, or preparation. Clean technology – includes technologies that improve public health by removing Read More >

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The Real Reason Why Salk Refused to Patent the Polio Vaccine

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A guest writer in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal repeated the oft quoted Jonas Salk statement about his Polio vaccine: “There is no patent.  Could you patent the sun?”  Many use this statement as the moral impetus for refusing patents on medically important innovations (see Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story).  Unfortunately, Jonas Salk created a myth that day by leaving out several crucial details. As pointed out by Robert Cook-Deegan at Read More >

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