Gene Quinn is a patent attorney and a leading commentator on patent law and innovation policy. Mr. Quinn has twice been named one of the top 50 most influential people in IP by Managing IP Magazine, in both 2014 and 2019. From 2017-2020, Mr. Quinn has also been recognized by IAM Magazine as one of the top 300 IP strategists in the world, and in 2021 he was recognized by IAM in their inaugural Strategy 300 Global Leaders list.
Mr. Quinn founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999, and he is currently President & CEO of IPWatchdog, Inc. According to IAM Magazine, Mr. Quinn “has reshaped the IP debate in the United States in a way that has forced policy makers to carefully consider the macroeconomic effects of IP law and its potential to drive innovation and economic activity.”
Regarded as an expert on software patentability and U.S. patent procedure, Mr. Quinn has advised inventors, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses throughout the U.S. and around the world. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and has represented patent practitioners before the Office of Enrollment & Discipline.
Mr. Quinn began his career as a litigator handling a variety of civil litigation matters, and he has been a patent attorney for nearly two decades. He has previously taught a variety of intellectual property courses at the law school level, teaching courses such as patent law, patent claim drafting, patent prosecution, copyright law, trademark law and introduction to intellectual property at Syracuse University College of Law, Temple University School of Law, The University of Toledo College of Law, the University of New Hampshire School of Law, the John Marshall Law School (Chicago) and Whittier Law School. Since 2000 Mr. Quinn has also taught the leading patent bar review course in the nation.
Mr. Quinn is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney licensed to practice before the United States Patent Office and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The written description requirement is really the backbone of the quid pro quo between the public and the patent applicant. In exchange for information about an invention, society is willing to grant the applicant a patent, which conveys exclusive rights for a limited period of time to what is claimed, not described. But the description provided in the specification must demonstration that the applicant really has an invention in the first place and what the boundaries of that invention are—this is the written description requirement in lay terms.
Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) has been perhaps the most active and passionate Congress person when it comes to intellectual property (IP) rights, and patents specifically, in recent history. In early August, he released the first draft of the Patent Eligibility Restoration Act of 2022, which if enacted would abrogate the Supreme Court’s decisions in Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 133 S.Ct. 2107 (2013) and Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., 132 S.Ct. 1289 (2012). He has also been closely involved with oversight of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on topics such as patent quality and has written numerous letters to the Biden Administration on issues including the waiver of IP obligations under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, the theft of U.S. IP by Chinese companies, and more. While he seemed fairly exasperated by the end of his last attempt at eligibility reform in 2019, he explains below that the Supreme Court’s refusal to fix the problem by denying the American Axle case inspired him to revive his efforts.
Moderna has sued Pfizer and BioNTech over the mRNA vaccine patents behind the COVID-19 vaccines. Moderna is not seeking to remove Comirnaty® from the market and is not asking for an injunction to prevent future sale, nor damages related to Pfizer’s sales for any COVID-19 vaccine used in 92 low- and middle-income countries. Moderna is represented by Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. The patents asserted in the complaint filed in the District of Massachusetts are: U.S. Patent Nos. 10,898,574 (the “’574 patent”), 10,702,600 (the “’600 patent”), and 10,933,127 (the “’127 patent”).
Are you bullish or bearish on the patent market as we close out 2022 and move into Q1 of 2023? That is the question I recently asked a distinguished panel of intellectual property business leaders and monetization experts. For the most part, those industry insiders who responded are bullish, although several distinguish patents and the licensing of technology and innovation. Indeed, if I were to answer my own question, I would say that given the Supreme Court’s refusal to address the obvious errors of the Federal Circuit relative to patent eligibility it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to be anything other than bearish on patents as a meaningful asset class — or at least an asset class that will compensate innovators and investors for the full measure of their contributions.