Category Archives: Patently BIOtech

Patents Not an Issue in the Fight Against Ebola

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As of October 23,2014 more than 4,900 people have died from the current Ebola outbreak, concentrated in the three West African countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. Frustrated that the process of getting experimental vaccines to West Africa was not moving fast enough, some were quick to blame intellectual property rights. But in reality, as government officials were quick to point out, the WHO first needed to resolve important ethical and safety considerations before a vaccine that Read More >

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Need for Patent Reform May be Overblown

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Amid the cacophony of calls for patent reform legislation, mounting evidence demonstrates patent trolling may be on the wane. As we reported earlier this month, the number of new patent cases filed in federal court has dropped by an astonishing 40 percent as compared to this time last year. A new data analysis by Unified Patents data shows more signs that patent troll suits are in decline.

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BIO Submits Joint Supplemental Comments on the USPTO March Guidance

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Last week BIO, alongside a number of member companies and private individuals, submitted supplemental comments to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office concerning their March 2014 Guidance on patent subject matter eligibility. In July, BIO and international bio-industry associations had submitted comments to the USPTO expressing concern about the Guidance, and its impact on the patent eligibility of biotechnology inventions. Since July, USPTO staff has indicated a final revision to the Guidance would be released Read More >

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Patent Cases Down by 40% in 2014

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The number of new patent cases filed in federal court has dropped by an astonishing 40 percent as compared to this time last year. This trend has some questioning whether Congressional patent reform is even necessary. Some legal experts are attributing this drop to the fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Alice vs. CLS Bank decision. In June, SCOTUS ruled in the case of Alice that certain subject matter which had been patentable (a computer-implemented Read More >

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Should the USPTO Allow the Patenting of Living Organisms?

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Last year, a question was submitted to the GMO advocacy website GMOAnswers about whether or not the USPTO should allow the patenting of living organisms. Under 35 U.S.C. 101, “the laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas have been held not patentable.” Therefore the USPTO cannot and does not award patents on living organisms that were merely discovered in nature. However, the U.S. Supreme Court Ruled in Diamond v. Chakrabarty that a “nonnaturally occurring Read More >

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