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When Patents Aren’t Enough: The Case for Data Exclusivity for Biologic Medicines

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Dr. Kristina Lybecker | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Biotechnology, Dr. Kristina Lybecker, Guest Contributors, Hatch-Waxman, IP News, Articles, Legislation, Patents, Pharmaceutical, Technology & Innovation

Biologic medicines are fundamentally different from traditional “small molecule” therapies, presenting a host of new challenges in the design and enforcement of the intellectual property (IP) architecture that will protect them.[2] Protecting the intellectual property of biologics is complicated, difficult, and essential to the future of medicine. This new frontier is also one of the remaining hurdles in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement negotiations. The debate over protecting biologics focuses on a proposed twelve years of data exclusivity and the consequences this will have for international trade, global public health, and access to medicines.

The nuances of producing biologics greatly complicate the logistics of protecting their intellectual property, making patents alone inadequate for safeguarding their IP. Data exclusivity protection allows for a period of time following marketing approval during which competing firms may not use the innovative firm’s safety and efficacy data, from proprietary preclinical and clinical trial results, to obtain marketing authorization for a generic version of the drug. From the moment when the compound first shows medicinal promise, data is generated and compiled, a process that is both expensive and time consuming. Data exclusivity provides the innovative firm with a period of protection for their investment in clinical trials and data collection, regardless of the length of time required to bring the drug to market.

Tesla on Patents: Open Source Altruism or Shrewd Business?

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn & Steve Brachmann | 24 comments
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Posted in: Automotive, Battery Technology, Companies We Follow, Fuel Cells, Gene Quinn, Guest Contributors, Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation, Toyota

Elon Musk inhabits a particularly influential space in the world of innovation by proving himself as a masterful entrepreneur in the 21st Century. He helped to establish the digital payment system known as PayPal; in the second quarter of 2011, this online service processed $28.7 billion USD in transactions. He was involved in the development of SpaceX, a space transit services company which has earned nearly $5 billion in contracts, including at least $1.6 billion from NASA for International Space Station resupply missions. His many other ventures, including solar energy technology manufacturing company SolarCity and electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors, brand Musk as a new kind of corporate capitalist who can thrive by developing sustainable technologies.

In the patent world, Musk has been creating some waves in his role as CEO of Tesla Motors. In a self-authored blog post published on the official Tesla Motors blog, Musk announced that the company was trying to make the company ‘open source’ by allowing other people to infringe on their patent portfolio with the supposed intent of encouraging the development of electric vehicle technologies. Interestingly to us, his comments in the post, titled “All Our Patent Are Belong To You” and published on June 12, explain: ” Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.” But who is to decide if one is acting in “good faith”?

Toyota Seeks Patents on Warning and Navigation Systems

Posted: Monday, Jul 7, 2014 @ 12:11 pm | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »
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Posted in: Automotive, Companies We Follow, Guest Contributors, IP News, Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation, Toyota

An impressive swath of the automobile manufacturing market worldwide is controlled by the Toyota Motor Corporation of Toyota, Japan, one of the world’s largest carmakers. Toyota is staking a large claim in the world of alternative energy vehicles by unveiling the Toyota FCV, a fuel cell vehicle that will be released in Japan during summer 2015 for a retail price of around $70,000 USD. In a year that has seen millions of cars recalled by major manufacturers, Toyota has recently issued its own recall of 2.3 million vehicles due to an airbag defect. In the world of technology development, Toyota is partnering with IBM to build a platform for application development for Toyota’s in-car telematics systems.

IPWatchdog is always interested in covering the world’s most innovative business entities in the Companies We Follow series. Today, we take a glance at the many inventions and innovations being researched and developed by this major automobile manufacturer. The patent applications filed by Toyota with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office detail an interesting future in vehicle development for this Japanese multinational corporation and its subsidiaries. We also take a close look at many recently issued patents to see Toyota’s standing in the world of intellectual property protection.

Today’s featured application discusses a system designed to better provide warning information to drivers without distracting a driver or displaying redundant information on multiple screens. This system would also ensure that drivers receive the warning message even if the heads-up display or another screen is malfunctioning. Navigational systems for self-driving cars are described in another couple of patent applications which we discovered, as well as some inventions related to hybrid electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Morgan Lewis Seeks Patent Prosecution Associate for its San Francisco Office

Posted: Monday, Jul 7, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Renee C. Quinn | Comments Off
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Posted in: IP News, Articles, JobOrtunities™ Help Wanted Section, Patent Attorney & Patent Agent Positions

* Job Title / Position: Patent Prosecution Associate
* Job Location: San Francisco

The San Francisco office of Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP an international law firm with some 1,400 attorneys, seeks a highly motivated, junior to mid-level associate for our Intellectual Property Practice.

The ideal candidates must have patent prosecution experience in the fields of life sciences, preferably with an advanced degree in biochemistry, biomedical engineering, molecular biology, immunology, and/or biology. Candidates must possess excellent academic credentials and strong research, writing, communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills. Candidates must be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and a member of the California bar.

Different Types of U.S. Patent Applications

Posted: Saturday, Jul 5, 2014 @ 9:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Educational Information for Inventors, Gene Quinn, Inventors Information, IP News, Articles, Patents

Patent terminology can be daunting at times, making it quite unapproachable for a novice inventor to understand what is really going on and what options are available in terms of filing a patent application. Take for example the various types of national patent applications that one can file. A national patent application means a U.S. application for patent that was either filed in the Patent Office under 35 U.S.C. 111 (i.e., directly with the USPTO as a domestic U.S. patent application), or which entered the national stage from an international patent application after compliance with 35 U.S.C. 371 (i.e., initially filed as an international application invoking the benefits of the Patent Cooperation Treaty).

Let’s hold off discussing international patent applications for now and instead focus on national patent applications filed under § 111, which is what most independent inventors and small business would file in the U.S. If you are interested in information on international patent applications please see PCT Basics: Understanding the International Filing Process and PCT Basics: Obtaining Patent Rights Around the World.

Domestically filed U.S. patent applications filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) include original non-provisional utility patent applications, plant patent applications, design patent applications, divisional applications, continuation applications, continuation-in-part applications, reissue applications, and design patent continued prosecution applications (CPAs). Provisional patent applications are filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(b), and hence a different type of patent application altogether.

GM Seeks Patent Wireless Collection of Data from Autos

Posted: Thursday, Jul 3, 2014 @ 9:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Automotive, Companies We Follow, General Motors, Guest Contributors, IP News, Articles, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

GM headquarters in Detroit, MI

Headquartered in Detroit, MI, the General Motors Company is a multinational corporation which makes up a large share of the global auto manufacturing industry. Recently, GM has been in the news an awful lot, but not for the right reasons. The auto manufacturer has recalled millions of cars in recent months because of unresolved issues with a faulty ignition switch used on multiple years and models of cars, an issue which has led to 13 reported deaths and hundreds of injuries in GM vehicle owners and passengers. Although the corporation is setting up a compensation fund for the families of victims, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is pushing for Congress to increase the fine a manufacturer faces for failing to fix long-term issues to $300 million, up from a previous maximum fine of $35 million. Most recently, General Motors issued a stop sale order to American and Canadian car dealers to prevent sales of 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet Cruzes because of an airbag defect. In a bit of better news, the corporation has been making concerted efforts to increase renewable energy use at its facilities through solar panel arrays, and by the end of 2014 these should be able to generate about 38 megawatts of solar power across 13 facilities.

Although these may be difficult days for GM, here at IPWatchdog we understand that the amount and frequency of patenting activities undertaken by this corporation makes it impossible to skip them for our Companies We Follow series. As usual, we’re seeing a lot of patent applications and issued patents assigned to this corporation from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and almost all of them are directed at vehicular technologies. Today, we discuss a collection of inventions which we feel offer up a good representation of the technologies being developed for the next generation of cars, trucks and more.

Telematics systems are the focus of a number of patent applications which we delve into today, including today’s featured application, which uses on-board telematics to transmit important automobile information to a central facility. The system is capable of sending more data than previous systems by routing the data through a wireless mobile device used by the driver, reducing the cost of data transmission from the vehicle. Improved speech recognition for on-board computer system controls and a steering wheel light system designed to refocus a driver’s attention onto the road are also discussed.

LexisNexis Acquires Patent Data Analytics Innovator PatentCore

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014 @ 2:45 pm | Written by Press Releases | No Comments »
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Posted in: IP News, Articles

HORSHAM, Pa., July 1, 2014— Reed Technology and Information Services Inc., a LexisNexis company, today announced an agreement to acquire PatentCore, the Minneapolis-based developer of the LexisNexis® PatentAdvisorSM solution suite. The acquisition will enhance the LexisNexis intellectual property (IP) offerings and give customers access to a broader range of innovative and unique IP services.

“Our relationship with PatentCore has helped us integrate more dynamic patent analytics capabilities into a strong base of IP products and services available through LexisNexis,” said Samuel Hardman, President of Reed Tech. “PatentAdvisor offers highly valuable analytical and statistical insights on patent prosecution and portfolio management that are unique in the marketplace.”

PatentAdvisor is a suite of easy-to-use, web-based patent analytics tools that make patent prosecution a more strategic and predictable process for IP-driven companies and law firms. The suite leverages mature big data sets and analytics, delivering searchable and actionable information to drive more effective and efficient patent prosecution and management.

Microsoft Seeks Patent on Avatar Based Shared Media Experience

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 2, 2014 @ 1:36 pm | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Guest Contributors, IP News, Articles, Microsoft, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation, Video Games & Online Gaming

The Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, CA, has been a driving force in the personal computing industry for a couple of decades now. The company will be rolling out its line of Surface Pro 3 tablet/laptop computers in the coming days, a thinner and lighter model than its predecessors which also has a larger screen. Users of Microsoft’s online services, including OneDrive, Bing and Windows-related services, will enjoy new terms of service developed by the company to enhance privacy and reduce targeted ads. The longtime creator of computer software technologies is also getting into the wearable tech industry and has been developing a pair of pants which includes a phone charger for a mobile phone.

IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series always tries to pay close attention to the intellectual property activities of the world’s largest consumer electronics developers. Microsoft’s investment into research and development for computing technologies results in a large number of patent filings registered at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. We return once again to focus on patent applications and recently issued patents assigned to Microsoft to provide an interesting look into this corporation’s innovations for our readers.

The featured patent application which we’ve chosen for today’s column discusses a social networking method which tries to enhance the shared viewing of video content among a group of people in geographically diverse locations. The movie theater interface gives group members the opportunity to communicate thoughts and emotions with others watching the same content. More intelligent computing systems for task management and advertising video games for download are also described within recently filed patent applications.