Patent Protection Strategies: Human Genes are not Patentable

Patent Protection Strategies: Human Genes are not Patentable

Regarding Patent Protection Strategies:

Myriad Genetics, a Utah based biotech company, held a patent on the isolated form of genes that can predict an increased risk of cancer. Many researchers and geneticists claim that this single company's patent raised costs, restricted research and often forced women to remove breasts and ovaries without the ability to get second opinions using this cancer-predicting method.

Recently, Myriad lost its patent rights on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that held so many hostage. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that human genes cannot be patented in this case because Myriad did not invent the human gene (see Bilder, Book of Genesis). The decision has both immediate benefits for some breast and ovarian cancer patients and repercussions for biotechnology research. The decision should lower costs and increase access to genetic testing for many people while it allows for other scientists and laboratories to provide genetic diagnostic testing without being hindered by Myriad's patent.

"Myriad did not create anything." Judge Clarence Thomas wrote. "To be sure, it found an important and useful gene, but separating that gene from the surrounding genetic material is not an act of invention."

Similarly, Corridor Law Group puts patent protection strategies into effect that provide its clients with a range of defensible claims so that even if the broadest claims become vulnerable to attack, other meaningful claims will survive.

Myriad can hardly be faulted for crafting patent claims as broadly as the law allows. Sure, Myriad's patent here was eventually validated, but it was a close enough call that it took going to the Supreme Court to decide it. To its credit, Myriad has encircled its technology with several other patents of varying breadth to give it assurance that at least some important claims will survive. Myriad continues to hold 24 patents on cDNA, which is not naturally occurring, of which 500 valid claims remain in effect.


Sources: "Justices rule human genes cannot be patented" USA Today, Richard Wolf (read further here) and "Supreme Court Strikes Down BRCA Gene Patent" ABC News, By ARIANE DeVOGUE (read further here). Photo credit of Supreme Court building: CC-BY-SA-3.0 Matt H. Wade at Wikipedia

 

New Technology and Inventions in the Market

New Technology and Inventions in the Market

At Corridor Law Group, we're excited and proud when our clients' new technology and products successfully break into the market with help from our patent strategies. It’s our business and our passion; it’s what we work hard to achieve for our clients.

Lately, we’ve been reading about and reviewing some of the technologies that have emerged over the past year and thought it would be worth highlighting a couple that we thought were pretty impressive.

One we came across was Armortech, and their Force Field Technology. They've developed technology that protects smart phone screens that are able to take quite the punishment. The technology is in the form of a screen shield that has been rigorously lab and field tested to withstand: a power drill, a hammer and crowbar, high pressure pellets, razor blades, and cinder block drops. Check out their demo here, it says it all.

 

Patented technology at work! Nice job Armortech.

Another pretty cool product comes from Powerbright. They’ve developed a power inverter that turns your car’s 12V cigarette lighter into an active AC wall outlet and USB port. It can power up to four devices at once and fits securely into most cup holders. This noiseless little product has three USB ports that are iPad/iPhone compatible and one wall outlet.

Powerbright designs and manufactures their products at its own state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China. Keeping their design and manufacturing in their own plant allows for stringent testing and allows the company to maintain very high quality products. Check out more of their products at www.powerbright.com, pretty impressive stuff.

When innovative products become commercially viable, the patents that protect products' unique features, and the technology that makes them unique, should be rock solid.

At Corridor Law Group, we help investors, inventors and companies protect their intellectual property and help guide their products to becoming profitable. We also enjoy reviewing the latest inventions and how patents play an integral role in bringing products to market. We will continue to highlight more inventions, old and new, in future posts—please check back with us soon. For more information getting a patent application process started, please call us for a free, 20-minute phone consultation with an experienced patent attorney. Just visit this page.
 

FTC Stands Ready to Fight Off Non-practicing Entities (a.k.a. Patent Trolls)

FTC Stands Ready to Fight Off Non-practicing Entities (a.k.a. Patent Trolls)

The Federal Trade Commission (announced) that it stands ready to take on (so-called non-practicing entities a.k.a. ...) patent trolls. In a speech at the National Press Club, Commissioner Edith Ramirez made two big announcements. First, she revealed that the FTC will conduct a wide-ranging investigation into the conduct of patent trolls. Second, she confirmed that, when appropriate, the FTC is committed to using its antitrust enforcement powers. This is great news for innovation and very bad news for trolls.


Corridor Law's Take on Vague Patents:

The FTC has played a crucial role in the larger debate. In 2011, the FTC published a note-worthy report on the problems caused by vague patents. Patent trolls often times operate behind the scenes behind a web of shell companies. By using its authority under section 6(b) of the FTC Act, the agency will be able to use its subpoena power to discover a troll's underlying structure and agenda.

Corridor Law Group stands committed to offering clients strong protection of their intellectual property, and understands the importance of inventors' business objectives. True innovation changes our world for the better, but only if it makes its way out of the lab and into the marketplace with the support of solid IP protection.

Corridor Law Group's clients are mostly small-to-medium size companies that are practicing entities. Those companies expect to build their businesses around innovations for products they will be selling. High quality IP protection at an affordable cost helps them to compete when they break into the market and existing players want to include those innovative features in competing products.


This was a commentary on an article called "Bad News For Patent Trolls! FTC To Look Under the Hood of the Trollmobile" by Daniel Nazer of eff.org. Read it.