Patent Docs: Top Biotech/Pharma Patent Stories of 2011

We are pleased to share the latest from our friends at, the Biotech and Pharma Patent Law and News Blog. The authors, Donald Zuhn and Kevin Noonan, are partners at McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff, LLP, and contribute to Patent Docs on a daily basis. Today’s post comes from Patent Docs’ fifth annual list of the top biotech/pharma patent stories covered by Patent Docs in 2011. These stories were selected based on their potential to have the greatest impact on biotech/pharma patent practitioners and applicants.

Below is the post that covers the stories ranked numbers 12- 10. For access to the entire list of the top biotech/pharma stories of the past year, click here. (more…)

Top 5 Patent Law Blog Posts of the Week

Today we continue our weekly installment highlighting the best of the patent blogosphere from the past week. Highlights include a patent application for dispersing riots with sound, a new database for chemical patents, and an update on the delayed ITC decision. If there are any patent blogs you think should be highlighted by our Top 5, please comment on this post and we’ll check them out!

1) Patently-O: Design Patent Pendency – This post was selected because, although it’s just a paragraph long, it shares the blogging spotlight on the design patent. Design patents don’t get press like utility patents do. This post provides a chart on the progress design patent filings have taken over the years, and explains that the majority of design patent applications get filed within the year.

2) New Scientist: Riot Shields Could Scatter Crowds with a ‘Wall of Sound’ – A Massachusetts defense firm applied for a patent for a “man-portable non-lethal pressure shield” that would emit sounds causing people to disperse due to their physical inability to withstand the sounds. The article reports on how the patent works and how it differentiates from other sound emitting crowd control devices. You can view the patent here.

3) Tech Crunch: Apple Made a Deal with The Devil (No, Worse: A Patent Troll) – The interwebs have been a flutter about this post’s explanation of how Digitude Innovations partnered with Apple and has since been actively suing companies like RIM, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, Amazon, and Nokia. The article reports that Apple has transferred about a dozen of its patents in a patent litigation offensive strategy.

4) Bloomberg: HTC Says Decision in U.S. Patent Dispute With Apple Delayed – This post provides a quick  summary of how and why the hotly anticipated ITC ruling was delayed to early next week, and reiterates the impact the decision will have on all parties involved.

5) SiNApSE: New Chemical Database For Patent Search – This post explains the recent announcement that IBM launched of a new database which will provide access to more than 2.4 million chemical compounds extracted from about 4.7 million patents and 11 million biomedical journal abstracts from 1976 to 2000. The new venture is in collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb, DuPont and Pfizer.

Top 5 Patent Law Blog Posts of the Week

Today we continue our weekly installment highlighting the best of the patent blogosphere from the past week. Highlights include the anticipated revisions to the Patent Bar, a conflict of interest for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Breyer, and an update from the USPTO’s collaborations in improving the patent system via open access.

1. IP Watchdog: PTO Updates Patent Bar Exam to Test AIA & Appeal Rules – The Patent Bar will change to reflect the new rules incarnated by the America Invents Act. This post outlines what new topics will be tested and how the USPTO has established a trend in making sure the exam is as up to date as possible. The new Patent Bar exam will debut January 31, 2012. For information regarding PLI’s Patent Bar Review (Jan. 11-15, 2012), click here.

2. Peer To Patent: Improving Patent Systems through Open Access– The USPTO hosted its Second Annual Prior Art Collaboration Conference in October 2011, and this post provides the proceedings that developed during the conference. Participants such as WIPO, the European Patent Office, the U.K. Intellectual Property Office, IP Australia, the Japan Patent Office, and the Korea Intellectual Property Office discussed ways in which the patent offices and the public could work together to improve access to prior art. (more…)

Top 5 Patent Law Blog Posts of the Week

Today we are debuting a weekly installment highlighting the best of the patent blogosphere from the past week. Highlights include USPTO updates and announcements, as well as the expiration of the patent for the world’s best selling prescription drug – ever.

1. IP Watchdog: USPTO Announces More PPH Agreements, China and Iceland – Several announcements came out of the USPTO this week regarding launches for Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programs with China’s State Intellectual Property Office, the Icelandic Patent Office, as well as the start of the Paris Route PPH program. This post details how the PPH programs facilitate work-sharing benefits worldwide.

2. Patents Post-Grant: USPTO to Implement New Ex Parte Appeal Rules for 2012 – At the beginning of the week, the USPTO released the final rule package regarding the Rules of Practice Before the Board of Patent Appeals & Interferences in Ex Parte Appeals. This post explains the application of the new rules and how they will impact ex parte proceedings and ex parte reexamination. *PLI will be hosting a One Hour Briefing on the USPTO’s new rules on Jan. 9, 2012. Stay tuned for more information. Also check out information regarding PLI’s  Post-Grant USPTO Proceedings 2012 – The New Patent Litigation Seminar on Feb. 3, 2012.

3. Reexamination Alert: Judge Randa Refuses to Lift Reexamination Stay Despite Patentee’s Success (So Far) with Examiner – This post from Westerman, Hattori, Daniels & Adrian, LLP shares an interesting twist to the use of the 35 U.S.C. Section 316(a) standard for “complete” reexamination. In Generac Power Systems v. Kohler, the twist came when an accused infringer invoked Section 316(a) to maintain a reexamination stay rather than the more common practice of the patentee using the section.

4. TIMELipitor Already Cheaper After Patent Expiration – Pfizer’s patent for their best selling prescription drug, Lipitor, expired this week. According to this article, Pfizer’s sales from Lipitor averaged at about $11 billion dollars per year, which ends up being roughly one-sixth of Pfizer’s total sales. Because of the patent’s expiration, Pfizer is now doing what it can in order to preserve whatever claim it has to Lipitor, including selling the drug at a steep discount (to counter-act the sale of the generic drug at an estimated 80% discount), as well as paying pharmacies to spread the news to its customers about the discount. How Pfizer reacts to losing the patent for the best selling prescription drug of all time will have an impact on how the rest of the pharmaceutical market handles patent expiration.

5. Patently-OHoliday Gift List for Patent Attorneys and the Like – Although this blog post is from last week, I thought it would be good to share right before the weekend, considering the holiday season is upon us and all types of holiday parties (whether they be office or social) are popping up each week. Patent attorneys deserve cool presents too, and this list is full of great and very different gift ideas. Enjoy!