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Category: Biotechnology


Update from the AIPLA Biotech Committee Meeting
December 09, 2019
Post by Oliver P. Couture, Ph.D.
At the recent American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) conference the AIPLA Biotechnology Committee met to discuss two biotechnology issues: 35 USC 101 legislation and treatment of genetic resources (GR) and traditional knowledge (TK). Bob Stoll, former Commissioner for Patents at the USPTO and member of AIPLA’s 101 taskforce led the 101 discussion as part of the taskforce’s role to help sh.......
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First Cannabis-Related Patent Makes its Way through the Federal Courts: What it Teaches, and What it Does Not
May 02, 2019
Post by Tina G. Yin Sowatzke, Pharm.D.
Tina G Yin-Sowatzke In the past 25 years, there has been substantial growth surrounding the developments within the cannabis industry, particularly involving intellectual property protections. With legalization of cannabis gaining traction across the United States, any court guidance can provide a foundation for those seeking patent protection. Opportunely, on April 17, 2019, The District Court for the Di.......
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CRISPR: Broad Institute Holds onto its Piece of Pie, and it’s Delicious!
September 13, 2018
Post by Oliver P. Couture, Ph.D.
On Monday, September 10th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) upheld the decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) on the interference between the Broad Institute and the University of California. The PTAB held, and the CAFC upheld, that given the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, one skilled in the art would not have had a reasonable expectation of succes.......
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National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard rules publish May 4: Ties to patent protection and gene editing
May 03, 2018
Post by Cassie J. Edgar
National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard rules publish May 4: Ties to patent protection and gene editing   In 2016 Congress passed an amendment to the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to establish a national bioengineered food disclosure standard. This law was an important milestone in establishing transparency for consumers, ensuring labeling certainty for innovators developing new products, .......
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Patentability and Patent Protection: Is the Pendulum Starting to Swing Back?
March 23, 2018
Post by Oliver P. Couture, Ph.D.
The latest US Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center’s International IP Index still places the US on top overall for intellectual property. However, this is due to strength in enforcement of copyrights and trademarks, and improvements in identifying counterfeit goods before they enter the country. According the to Index, the US has dropped to 12th place out of 50 economies in recent years. T.......
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Just Because It’s Nanoscale, Doesn’t Mean It’s Not a Big Deal
March 09, 2018
Post by Jonathan L. Kennedy
Nanotechnology has been taking innovation by storm for decades now and its only increasing its footprint. This is reflected in the growing number of granted patents and published applications directed to nanotechnology inventions. For example, according to StatNano (an organization that monitors and publishing information regarding nanotechnology global developments), more than 20,000 granted patents and patent .......
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Patent Covering Methods of Advanced Genomic Selection from Guinea Pigs to Corn Survives Opposition in EU
February 23, 2018
Post by Cassie J. Edgar
Effectively protecting improved genetics requires a multi-pillared strategy considering the biological organisms themselves, methods of use, methods of breeding, and any regulatory data protection. The EPO recently upheld a patent (EP 2813141, granted August 5, 2015) drawn to methods of breeding using genome-wide estimated breeding values (EBVs) to identify combinations of individuals in a population .......
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The Plant Naming Conundrum … Protecting Your Plant Varieties in the Short and Long Term
February 15, 2018
Post by Christine Lebron-Dykeman
Development of a new plant cultivar or varietal often requires substantial research and development. These costs can be recovered, however, if a breeder is able to successfully market, sell and/or license the resulting product, while maintaining exclusive ownership rights therein.  There are, of course, a variety of intellectual property protection schemes available to maintain those exclusive right.......
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The Broad Institute has a Patent Revoked by the EPO on Technical Grounds
January 24, 2018
Post by Blog Staff
The CRISPR/Cas9 landscape continues to evolve around the world. On January 17, 2018, the EPO’s Opposition Division revoked Broad’s patent EP2771468 on the grounds it lacked novelty. The revocation will not be take effect until after any appeal is heard. EP2771468 claimed priority to a US provisional application, which would have allowed the patent to predate several references cited against its validity........
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The Most Difficult Definition: Considerations for Defining “Genetically Modified Organism"
August 17, 2017
Post by Blog Staff
A patent applicant is free to act as their own lexicographer in drafting an application and may define terms as they see fit. Should a word not be defined explicitly in the application, the Patent Office will then give the term “the broadest reasonable interpretation according to a person having ordinary skill in the art” -- they will broadly define the word as someone of equal training in the field would........
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When Life Hands you Lemons, Make CoQ10
July 27, 2017
Post by Blog Staff
In the Federal Circuit Decision of Soft Gel Technologies, Inc. v. Jarrow Formulas, Inc., the Court found three related Soft-Gel patents invalid for obviousness. The three patents describe a way to dissolve CoQ10 in monoterpenes for enhanced delivery to the body. The patents disclosed two suitable examples, limonene and carvone and derivatives thereof. However, prior to suit, the Patent Trial and Appeal B.......
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USPTO Releases New Guidance on Life Sciences Patent-Eligible Subject Matter
May 19, 2016
Post by Blog Staff
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued new guidance for Subject Matter Eligibility of Life Sciences patents. A memorandum with the subject "Formulating a Subject Matter Eligibility Rejection and Evaluating the Applicant's Response to a Subject Matter Eligibility Rejection" was released May 4, 2016. The Memorandum was accompanied by a new set of subject matter eligibility examples .......
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White House Calls for Modernization of Biotechnology Regulations
August 04, 2015
Post by Blog Staff
Biotechnological innovation is potentially subject to a variety of governmental regulations. For example, therapeutics for disease treatment or prevention in humans are subject to review and approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Innovations relating to crops or livestock may be subject to the Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, the regulations promulgated by thes.......
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2014 World Food Day and Borlaug Dialogue Takes Place in Des Moines Iowa
October 17, 2014
Post by Jill N. Link, Pharm.D.
The 2014 theme for World Food Day was “Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the earth.” This event took place during the 2014 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium held in Des Moines, Iowa. MVS was represented by attorney Scott Johnson to honor the 2014 Laureate, Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram for his work in developing wheat varieties. The various events taking place this week are raising awareness.......
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The attorneys of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. designed this blog as an informational and educational resource about intellectual property law for our clients, other attorneys, and the public as a whole. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge information about recent developments in intellectual property law, including relevant case law updates, proposed legislation, and intellectual property law in the news.

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