The Kentucky BioAlliance has established a fund to provide stipends for Kentucky-based biotech companies to attend the annual Biotechnology Industry Organization BIO2008 conference. Companies that are selected will be awarded a stipend to cover up to $800 in expenses associated with attending the annual BIO International Conference. To apply, fill out an application here.

Biotech companies say they are ready for legislation covering biogenerics. BIO is making the legislation a priority in 2008 and is working to negotiate guidelines favorable to its members.  The U.S. currently spends $40 billion per year on biotech drugs and the leading presidential candidates — Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain — have all advocated generic drugs as a health care cost-cutter. The Bush administration said it would like to see the FDA gain the power to approve biogenerics this year.

Gibson Guitar said that the “Guitar Hero” video games infringe one of Gibson’s patents and Activision has asked a U.S. court to declare the claim invalid.  Gibson’s U.S. Patent No 5,990,405 claims a method for simulating a live performance using a musical instrument, a 3D headset with stereo speakers, and a pre-recorded concert. If you go by the old patent law maxim that claims thicker than about “three fingers” are probably too narrow to enforce, then Gibson’s seven part method claim will have a tough way to go.  Note: The first element requires “(a) a musical instrument, the musical instrument generating an instrument audio signal at an instrument audio output, the instrument audio signal varying in response to operation of the instrument by the user of the system.”

Pfizer got a Canadian appeals court ruling blocking regulatory approval of Ranbaxy’s generic version of the cholesterol pill Lipitor. Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal reversed a lower-court ruling that Ranbaxy could sell a competing generic before Pfizer’s patent expires in 2010. Pfizer’s Lipitor sales were $12.7 billion last year.

Filed under yet another thing to be worried about, a report shows that medical devices can be hacked. About 100,000 Americans have a new kind of defibrillator implanted near their heart that’s vulnerable to hacking and even reprogramming. The devices rely on wireless transmissions that weren’t encrypted. Regulators and defibrillator makers say there’s just a slim chance of hackers targeting the devices but expect to see more of this as devices go wireless.

A Superior Court judge on Thursday ordered Starbucks Corp. to pay its California baristas $106 million in back tips and interest that the company had taken from its baristas and gave to shift supervisors.  San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett also issued an injunction saying state law prohibits managers and supervisors from sharing in employee gratuities. Starbucks spokeswoman Valerie O’Neil said the decision “represents an extreme example of an abuse of the class-action procedures in California’s courts.” But barista attorney Laura Ho said “Starbucks illegally took a huge amount of money from the tip pool to pay shift supervisors, rather than paying them out of its own pocket.”  If only the Patent Baristas could get tips.

Finally, the pharmaceutical business (reporting) has become a soap opera.  Pharmalot stimulated some comments after posting about an Rx video soap opera. We haven’t viewed the clips so take it as it is.

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  1. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  2. […] the latest US patent reform bill co-authored with Sailesh Patel, another brspicyipindia.blogspot.comFriday IP Round-Up The Kentucky BioAlliance has established a fund to provide stipends for Kentucky-based biotech […]

  3. Wow, you know patents are serious stuff when note even video games are safe!