In the midst of the first two hearings on reforming patent eligibility law, the Senate IP Subcommittee has published the witness list for next week’s final hearing on Section 101 reform, to be held on Tuesday, June 11. Again, it is decidedly pro-patent compared with previous congressional hearings on patent issues.
As with the first two hearings, the Senators will hear from three separate panels of five witnesses each. The first panel will include Manny Schecter of IBM, who has noted in past articles for IPWatchdog that some of the most groundbreaking inventions of our time would likely fail or be invalidated under the current patent eligibility landscape. He will be joined by Laurie Self, Senior Vice-President and Counsel, Government Affairs, at Qualcomm; Byron Holz, Senior Intellectual Property Rights Licensing Counsel at Nokia; Kimberly Chotkowski, Vice President, Head of Licensing Strategy and Operations at InterDigital; and Sean Reilly, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel at the Clearing House Payments Company.
Panel two will include Laurie Hill, Vice President of IP at Genentech, who submitted a letter to USPTO Director Andrei Iancu in March thanking him for his 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance, but asking him to “develop updated life sciences examples implementing the new framework,” in particular addressing “composition claims and different types of method claims, including fact patterns in which a recited judicial exception is integrated into a practical application and fact patterns that show how additional elements might be included to signal integration of the recited judicial exception into a practical application.” Hill’s fellow panelists will include Sean George of Invitae, whose colleague argued on a briefing call organized by the ACLU on Monday that Myriad’s patents on the tests for the BRCA 1 gene delayed the development of improved tests by seven years, among other examples he provided of patents inhibiting medical innovation; Gonzalez Merino, Vice President and Chief IP Counsel at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; Peter O’Neill, Executive Director of the Cleveland Clinic, which has gone on record with IPWatchdog to say that “current patent eligibility concerns tend to tip the scales against patenting”; and Dr. David Spetzler, President and Chief Scientific Officer at Caris Life Sciences, a biotech company that focuses on precision medicine.
The final panel of the final hearing will include representatives from the gaming and lottery industries, more pharmaceutical companies, a data compression technology company, and one private practitioner. John Vandenberg of Klarquist Sparkman, LLP authored an amicus brief to the Federal Circuit at the en banc stage of the Alice case in which he argued in favor of the Alice framework. The remaining panelists include Michael Blankstein, Senior Vice President at Scientific Games; Nicholas Dupont, CEO and Executive Chairman at Cyborg, Inc., a data compression technology developer which features the Stephen Hawking quote, “Maybe we should patent the universe and charge everyone royalties for their existence,” on its Intellectual Property page; Corey Salsberg, Vice President, Global Head of IP Affairs at Novartis; and Robert DeBerardine, Chief IP Counsel at Johnson & Johnson.
Later today, the second panel on eligibility law will feature speakers representing industry trade associations, the American Civil Liberties Union, and one individual inventor, among other panelists. Check back tonight for more.