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Patent Baristas

acilifescicollabAt American Conference Institute’s 17th Advanced Forum on Life Sciences Collaborative Agreements and Acquisitions, a seasoned faculty of business development, licensing, and alliance management executives from top life sciences companies like Pfizer, AstaZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis, and Bayer will help you enable your company to advance its key growth strategies.

In just two days, these experienced professionals will share:

  • In-depth analysis of recent trends in collaboration
  • Valuable strategies for managing fruitful alliances
  • Best practices for structuring deals to maximally benefit all parties
  • Tips for working with academic institutions
  • Methods for crafting effective termination provisions, and much more

You will also receive expert instruction on how to avoid antitrust problems directly from the Federal Trade Commission, mitigating the effects of patent reform on deal making, spreading and limiting risk, and exposing deal-killing IP problems before they wreak havoc.

In addition, exclusive post-conference workshops will cover:

  • Strategies for executing due diligence procedures, like managing legal risks associated with collaborations, comparing differing metrics used in M&A deals, and crafting checklists to perform effectively IP diligence.
  • The collaborative agreement review and strategy session where attendees can compare redacted collaboration contracts to develop best practices for drafting effective agreements.

Take this opportunity to get the most current and comprehensive information and advice regarding strategic partnering agreements in an environment that will provide valuable networking opportunities.

Register now for this timely event by calling 888.224.2480, by fax at877.927.1563, or register online at


*Patent Baristas readers are entitled to a discount when referencing the code: PB 200

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Now is your chance to join a select group of technological game-changers whose ingenuity will be showcased in a celebration of innovation.

Cutting-edge innovators can apply for a place among the exhibitors at the Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Innovation Expo, to be held on the agency’s campus in Alexandria, Va., June 20-22, 2013.

Exhibits will showcase the latest technological developments from America’s innovators affiliated with large corporations, small businesses, academic institutions, government agencies and the independent inventor community. A diverse range of technologies will be represented at the Expo.

IE2012_websiteheaderThe Expo will also demonstrate the vital role America’s intellectual property system and the United States Patent and Trademark office play in promoting and protecting innovation, a role that contributes greatly to America’s competitiveness and economic prowess in the global economy.

The application deadline is February 13, 2013. Exhibition slots will be awarded to qualified U.S. patent owners on a rolling basis. Space is limited, so apply now.

Applications will be reviewed by an independent committee made up of representatives from some of the most important and respected intellectual property organizations.

For more information see the Innovation Expo FAQ or contact

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The Comprehensive Guide to Patent Reform

Who:                Patent practitioners needing a reminded how the world has changed
What:               The critical industry forum on The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act
When:              Wednesday, January 23 to Thursday, January 24, 2013
Where:             Doubletree Suites Times Square, New York, NY

March 15, 2013 is the last day for the decades-old U.S. patent regime, and for patent attorneys, this date is every bit as foreboding for them as it was for Caesar himself. The America Invents Act (AIA) is ushering in a raft of new rules and spawning regulations that upend generations of established prosecution and litigation practices, leaving no small amount of fear and consternation in its wake. But the Act also presents practitioners with opportunities to enhance their IP portfolios’ value and undermine rivals’ patents – thanks to a bevy of new pre-and post-issuance procedures.

Nevertheless, the full effects of countless nuances sprinkled throughout the AIA and the full implications of regulations promulgated under it remain unknown, and patent practitioners are left with a multitude of questions regarding the potential ramifications for their craft. With so much at stake, you must develop a plan to address both the changes already in effect and those whose coming implementation looms just one day past that fateful date – the Ides of March.

American Conference Institute’s 2nd Comprehensive Guide to Patent Reform once again unites experienced in-house counsel from top innovators, private practice experts, and senior officials from the USPTO to answer patent professionals’ most pressing questions, including:

  • What does “first to file” actually mean under the AIA requirements? Which system can you or should you file under – the current first to invent or the new first to file (or both)? And how do you avoid first-to-file bubble filings before 3/15/2013?
  • When can on-sale and public use activity be considered prior art? Has secret §102(f) prior art been eliminated?
  • Do you need to include best mode in the application or not and what happens if you don’t? Is best mode completely toothless now? How will examiners be able to address the best mode issue?
  • What will be required in the PGR process? What type of discovery? Expert witnesses? How do the estoppel provisions alter your analysis of whether to engage in the PGR system?
  • What estoppel provisions are associated with IPRs and how are these different from the inter partes reexamination provisions? When do you file a 3rd party parallel IPR?

Register by calling 888-224-2480 or faxing your registration form to 877-927-1563 or registering on-line

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Boon or Bane for Technological Innovation?: Software Patents

Pure software patents have become the focus of a heated innovation policy debate. On the one hand, new technological innovation is now a commonplace feature of our lives.  On the other hand, the high-tech industry seems awash in patent litigation, especially in the “smart phone war” between Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, and other high-tech firms.

As a result, commentators now complain about the “problem of software patents.”

The IP Practice Group at the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is now hosting a teleforum thatb will consider whether software patents advance development of new technological innovation or hinder innovation. The panelists represent all viewpoints on this topic and bring academic, legal and industry experiences to the issue.



Call begins at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

Registration details:

Teleforum calls are open to all dues paying members of the Federalist Society. To become a member, sign up here. As a member, you should receive email announcements of upcoming Teleforum calls which contain the conference call phone number. If you are not receiving those email announcements, please contact them at 202-822-8138.

Related Materials

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Conference on the Life Cycle of Orphan Drug Development & Commercialization

Conducting Effective Orphan Drug Research and Clinical Trials to Expedite Orphan Drug Approval

When:    January 16-18, 2013
Where:   Boston, MA

Key Topics

Improve current rare disease research methods used in early stages of orphan drug development with Genzyme
Evaluate where the rare disease research units fit in the portfolio for large and niche pharma companies with Pfizer
Utilize translational medicine to be effective in orphan drug development with Vertex
Collaborate with patient advocacy groups to increase patient recruitment in clinical trials with BioMarin
Review the FDA Safety and Innovation Act and its impact on orphan drug reserach and development with National Organization for Rare Disorders

Key Features

2 Pre-Conference Workshops on January 16, 2013

  1. Pre-Conference Workshop A: Integrating Gene Therapy and Stem-Cell Therapy Treatments in Rare Disease Clinical Trials with ReGenX Biosciences, LLC
  2. Pre-Conference Workshop B: Exploring New Solutions to Reduce the Orphan Drug Funding Gap with Asklepion

Event Focus

The orphan drug and rare disease industry is one of the hottest topics in modern day medicine. With blockbuster drugs coming off patent, there is a great need for pharmaceutical companies to diversify their portfolios by exploring niche markets. The increasing presence of high-profile manufacturers in the orphan drug industry provides these companies with this opportunity.

The Life Cycle of Orphan Drug Development & Commercialization Conference will focus on the current landscape of rare disease and orphan drug development, different forms of structural based drug designs, and specifically designed clinical trials.  Through these clinical trials, and by having connected to the right patients to participate, will increase productivity and expedite orphan drug approval and commercialization of the final product.

By attending this conference, delegates will gain a comprehensive view of the orphan drug and rare disease industry and will have a clearer understanding of the natural histories of rare diseases and how to most effectively treat them. Through maximizing translational research methods to evaluate bio-markers and surrogate markers in the patient’s body, this will assist in the design of orphan drug clinical trials resulting in quickly obtaining results and being able to send the orphan drug in for FDA approval.

Attending This Conference Will Enable You To:

  1. Assess the current rare disease department within the pharmaceutical industry
  2. Analyze current orphan drug developments and treatment methods in clinical trials
  3. Select the optimal patient target market to engage in rare disease clinical trials
  4. Review orphan drug regulations and accelerate orphan drug approval
  5. Address the importance of reimbursement and commercialization in the orphan drug industry

Industry leaders attending this conference will benefit from a dynamic presentation format consisting of workshops, panel discussions, and industry-specific case studies that provide accurate, real-world knowledge. Attendees will experience highly interactive conference sessions, 10-15 minutes of Q&A time after each presentation, 4+ hours of networking, and exclusive online access to materials post-event.

Register here.

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A special treat this week is a great podcast by Professor Richard A. Epstein, in which he offers his usual brilliant and insightful commentary on the patent system. As is to be expected, Richard packs about 3 hours of intellectual content into a 1-hour event.

To listen, please right click on the audio file you wish to hear and then select “Save Link As…” or “Save Target As…” After you save the audio file to your computer, you can then listen to it in your audio player of choice.

  Patent Rights: A Spark or Hindrance for the Economy? – MP3
Running Time: 00:54:30

Critics, including Judge Richard Posner, have argued that the patent system has led to excessive patenting, too much litigation, and unwarranted costs for consumers. Patent defenders have responded that with every spike in innovation comes a corresponding increase in the number of patent suits, and efforts to weaken patent rights will inevitably lead to less innovation.

Despite the passage of the America Invents Act,  the debate over intellectual property continues after a string of high profile patent infringement suits in the smartphone industry.

Would reduced patent rights diminish U.S. competitiveness and depress innovation? In a diversified economy, should so-called “non-practicing entities” (NPEs) have fewer patent rights than those that manufacture their inventions?


  • Prof. Richard A. Epstein, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
  • Prof. Adam Mossoff, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
  • Moderator: Mr. Dean Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society

*via Adam Mossoff and the IP Practice Group at the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.


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The U.S. Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO)  announced publication of a classification system meant to speed the patent granting process for applicants to both Offices.

The Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system and finalized CPC definitions are now available in advance of the January 1, 2013, official launch. The CPC is a joint USPTO-EPO project aimed at developing a common classification system for technical documents in particular patent publications, which will be used by both offices in the patent granting process.

The CPC system, which includes approximately 250,000 classification symbols based on the International Patent Classification (IPC) system, will enable users to conduct efficient prior art searches and incorporate the best classification practices of both the U.S. and European systems. It will also enhance efficiency through work-sharing initiatives designed to reduce unnecessary duplication of work.

Why CPC?

The EPO and USPTO both have highly developed patent classification systems. CPC is an ambitious harmonization effort to bring the best practices from each Office together. In fact, most U.S. patent documents are already classified in ECLA. The conversion from ECLA to CPC at the EPO will ensure IPC compliance and eliminate the need for the EPO to classify U.S. patent documents. At the USPTO, the conversion will provide an up-to date classification system that is internationally compatible.

What is CPC?

The Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) effort is a joint partnership between the USPTO and the EPO where the Offices have agreed to harmonize their existing classification systems (ECLA and USPC, respectively) and migrate towards a common classification scheme. This is a strategic decision by both offices and is seen as an important step towards advancing harmonization efforts currently being undertaken through the IP5’s Common Hybrid Classification (CHC) project.

The migration to CPC will be developed based in large part on the existing European Classification System (ECLA) and will be modified to ensure compliance with the International Patent Classification system (IPC) standards administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Since October 2010, the USPTO and EPO have worked jointly to develop the CPC. The results of their work are now being made available through a CPC launch package that includes the complete CPC system, any finalized CPC definitions and a CPC-to-IPC concordance.

The CPC definitions will be available for every CPC subclass and contain a description of the technical subject matter covered in the subclass. Eventually, each CPC subclass will have a corresponding CPC definition that will be continuously maintained. The CPC-to-IPC concordance will help users find the relevant IPC area on which the CPC is based.

For more detailed information about the new classification system, including downloadable sections, CPC definitions and concordances, please visit the official CPC website.

See also:  Moving towards a global patent system

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Nobody ever goes home and says, honey, let me tell you about what I learned about patents today.”
~Charles Duhigg, New York Times reporter

Terry Gross of NPR’s Fresh Air program did a segment about patents today with an interview with Charles Duhigg, a New York Times reporter who recently wrote about the patent wars in the article “The Patent Used as a Sword,” co-written with Steve Lohr. Duhigg is a reporter for the Times who is contributing to their current series on the iEconomy.

The episode focuses on the story behind Apple patents and how patents have become weapons in the wars between smartphone companies and the wars between start-ups and established high-tech companies.

Here’s an excerpt from National Public Radio:


And we were trying to understand how to make sense of this, the fact that there are some people who can graduate from college, they go and they start the right company, and they get bought for a billion dollars within a couple of years, and thousands and thousands of other people who don’t have any jobs, who can’t find work even though they’re willing to work, they’re well-trained, they literally can’t find the jobs to absorb them.

[W]e really wanted to ask this question: What has happened to the economy? And what we found is it’s been a slow process, but the transition from an industrial to a digital economy is as transformative, as significant, not only for the economy but for people’s lives, how people do work and how people should think about their own work, as the transition was from an agrarian economy to an industrial economy 100 years ago.


And what you’re finding is some of our laws and ways of doing business are really out of date, even though those laws haven’t changed, which leads us to patents. And I want to mention an astounding figure or two here. This is according to a Stanford University analysis that you quote. In the smartphone industry in the past couple of years, as much as $20 billion was spent on patent litigation and patent purchases.

That’s the equivalent of eight Mars Rover missions. Last year for the first time, spending by Apple and Google on patent lawsuits and unusually big-dollar patent purchases exceeded spending on research and development of new products.


So the idea [behind patents] was to encourage innovation, but what’s happened, particularly in the last 15 years and in software in particular, in technology, is that rather than patents becoming something that encourages innovation, patents have become essentially a barrier, a toll gate on the road of innovation because patents have become so broad, so amorphous that if someone can get a patent on kind of a completely commonplace technology, what they can do is they can say to everyone else: Listen, if you want to invent this widget that you’ve invented on your own, that hundreds of people have invented at this point, I own the intellectual property on that widget. So I can stop you from using or selling that widget, or I can force you to pay me for it.

[T]he rise of smartphones was mirrored by the rise in the understanding by technology companies that they can patent almost anything, and their aggressive moves into pushing the patent office into granting them patents on almost any idea they could come up with.

In a discussion of Siri, the voice-recognition system that the Apple iPhone introduced last year:


They just invented the concept, and that’s almost always true now. Companies come up with a concept, and they file the patent for the concept before they actually figure out and make the concept into a product, because it’s a race to the patent office. It’s a race to try and get your patent in there first.

The difference with the cotton gin is, Eli Whitney didn’t say I’m patenting every way to ever remove a seed from cotton. Instead what he said is, I’m patenting this machine, and you really can’t do that many variations on this machine.

Today you can say I’m patenting essentially a concept. I’m patenting essentially an abstract idea, and as long as I say it can happen on a computer, I own every application of that idea going forward for the next 20 years.

So if someone comes up with some application that you’ve never dreamed of, if someone comes up with – dreams up, for instance, Siri, a voice-recognition digital assistant, even if you never thought of that when you were writing the patent application, you now can claim ownership over it.


So is this happening now, where somebody invents a way of doing something, like an application for devices, and they find out that they can’t do it because the concept has already been patented? The application didn’t exist, the way of doing it didn’t exist, but just the concept had been patented, and therefore this person can’t move forward with their application?


Absolutely, that literally happens every single day. If you are now a startup in the digital space, as soon as your product becomes even moderately successful, you will get sued by someone who holds a patent on a concept that they say that you’re violating.

I’m not sure what to say about this since this is a generalization and it’s just not true. You cannot patent an idea.  You can patent an invention, which is the concrete expression of the idea.  Under U.S. patent law, all patents — whether for a smartphone or for a business method — are judged according to the same criteria as other types of patents. Patent applicants must show that the invention is new and nonobvious and applicants must describe the invention such that a person in the industry would know how to make and use the invention.

Much of the current controversy around patents has been because certain applicants have tried to patent ridiculously vague and suspect ideas for the sole purpose of initiating lawsuits.


Now, there’s a counterpoint, which comes from a lot of people like, for instance, Judge Richard Posner, who’s a very well-respected federal appellate judge, or a paper that was recently published by the – a working paper from the St. Louis Federal Reserve, that says we don’t believe that patents are necessary.

We think that Apple, if they create, invent the iPhone, and they sell it, they’re going to make so much money on that even if other people can try and copy and imitate them, Apple will be well-compensated for all of its research and development.

Now, Apple makes about a billion dollars a week on iPhone sales, maybe even more now that the iPhone 5 is out, we don’t know the latest numbers. And what Richard Posner would say is, look, if you’re making a billion dollars a week, you have earned back the cost of inventing the iPhone many times over.

I realize this sounds good in a vacuum but there is nothing in patent law that says you can only make back a certain return on the “inventing” of your product.  Without taking into account all of the “inventing” that never becomes a product, how could this ever be determined?  Besides, the cost o inventing is not necessarily proportional to the invention.  One person could spend 10 years and 10 million dollars working on an idea and never develop a working invention.  Another person could spend 10 days and $10,000 and come up with something revolutionary.  Money and invention are often related but they’re never tied together in any kind of formula.

I love NPR and (sometimes) the NY Times but I wish they’d talk to experts instead of reporters.

You can read the rest of the interview at NPR’s website,

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