Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

USPTO Hoteling Report

  • The US Department of Commerce recently performed an audit and evaluation of the USPTO's Hoteling program. The report shows that the average Patent Hoteling Program (PHP) examiner spends 66.3 more hours a year examining patents than does the average in-house examiner (which translates to reviewing about 3.5 more patent applications a year. However, the report shows that PHP participants are no more efficient at reviewing patent applications than individuals at the USPTO headquarters. At the end of the fiscal year 2011 over 2,600 patent examiners were Hoteling. To be able to participate in the PHP an examiner must be GS-12 or above, worked at least 2 years at the USPTO, passed the certification exam (essentially the Patent Bar), & currently not under any warnings. [Link]

U.S. House introduces bill to amend design patent law

  • The proposed House bill, known as the Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade, and Sales (PARTS) Act, would reduce the time period when auto manufacturers are able to enforce design patents on collision repair parts against alternative suppliers from 14 years to 30 months. The bill claims that it would save Americans money on car parts, by removing auto manufacturer monopolies from the equation. [Link]

Can University Tech Transfer save the Pharma Industry?

  • The pharmaceutical industry has been hit hard by the fall in revenue because of expiring patents. Pfizer's profit declined 50% because of Lipitor going into the public domain. Eli Lilly's profit dropped 27% because of Zyprexa going generic. AstraZeneca revenue declined and they plan to lay off 7,350 people, because Nexium fell out of patent protection in Europe. Also, later this year Plavix and Singulair will face competition, which will probably cause those companies' profits to drop. With all of these multi- billion dollar patents expiring, it seems that pharma companies need new compounds and drugs to increase profit. I think that Universities will be the key to the pharma industry. Universities have many patents waiting to be licensed by big companies that could be very profitable for both the University and the company. The problem that I see is that there is a lack of communication between companies and Universities. Most University Tech Transfer offices are limited in what they can do, and if they do not have an inside connection at a company, it is difficult to market an invention to a big company. This problem can be overcome in many ways; however it would seem that an intermediary may be needed. An intermediary would be of great value if they can connect pharma companies (or companies in general) with University Tech Transfer offices to help broker a deal. While this is not a new idea in the patent world, I do not think that many universities currently use individuals from the outside to help get technology licensed. [Link]

Patent Jobs:

  • Apple seeks to hire a Sr. IP Counsel with 6+ years of experience in patent disputes to work at their Cupertino location. [Link]
  • Sughrue Mion is searching for candidates for an associate or technical specialist positions with a BS in chemical fields and candidates with Ph.D. level education in Molecular/Cell biology to work in their D.C. office. [Link]
  • Brookstone is looking for IP Counsel with a minimum of 5 years of experience to work at their Merrimack, New Hampshire location. [Link]
  • Christopher & Weisberg is seeking a patent attorney with 1-5 years of experience and degree in EE to work in their Fort Lauderdale office. [Link]
  • Harness, Dickey & Pierce is searching for a patent prosecution associate with 3-4 years of experience and Bachelor's degree in Biotech or a Biotech-related degree to work in their Saint Louis office. [Link]
  • Faegre Baker Daniels is looking for an IP associate with degree in EE, ME, CE, physics, or chemistry and up to 5 years of patent prosecution experience to work in their Fort Wayne, Indiana office. [Link]
  • Bluestone Innovations is seeking to hire in house counsel with 5 years of patent litigation experience to work at their Reston, Virginia location. [Link]

Upcoming Events:

  • The New Jersey IP Association is sponsoring, The Inside Track to the Proposed Rules for Implementation of the America Invents Act on February 7 in Trenton, NJ. Featured speakers include: David Kappos, Philip Johnson, and Kenneth Nigon. [Link]
  • The Emory Law Journal will hold The 2012 Randolph W. Thrower Symposium, Innovation For the Modern Era: Law, Policy, and Legal Practice in a Changing World on February 9. The symposium is free and open to the public. [Link]
  • The Intellectual Property Law Section of the Utah State Bar is hosting its annual IP Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on February 17, 2012, at the Little America Hotel. This full day event includes two tracks of topics in various areas of IP law, lunch, and a networking reception. Confirmed speakers include Ted McAleer, Executive Director of USTAR; Robin Zhao, Jeekai & Partners; Hon. Dee V Benson, US Dist. Ct for the Dist. of Utah; Hon. Ted Stewart, US Dist. Ct for the Dist. of Utah; Hon. Virginia Kendall, US Dist. Ct for Northern Dist. of Illinois; Paul Marchegiani, NBC; Howard Michael, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione; Jeff Gee, Symantec; and Richard Chang, ICON. [Link]
  • IBC Legal's 20th Annual Biotech & Pharmaceutical Patenting Conference 2012 will be held on February 21-22 in Munich, Germany. Get advice and analysis from a diverse team of international life science and IP experts on recent case law and developments, patent filing, patent life cycles, SPCs, patent infringement, EC Bolar implementation and more! Patently-O readers get a 10% discount when registering with this link. [Link]
  • The 7th Annual Conference on EU Pharma Law & Regulation will be held on February 22-23 in London. The conference will bring together eminent in-house counsel from the world's largest pharma and biotech companies, top legal practitioners and regulatory experts in an outstanding speaker panel. (Patently-O readers register with PO 10 for a discount). [Link]
  • Maurer School of Law Center for IP Research will hold a CLE Fundamentals of Federal Circuit Advocacy event on February 23. Greg Castanias will lead a discussion of patent appeals before the Federal Circuit. Also appearing: Center for Intellectual Property Research senior advisor Donald Knebel, Prof. Mark D. Janis, and former Federal Circuit clerk Allison Kerndt. [Link]
  • The Florida Bar 3rd Annual IP Law Symposium will be held on March 1-2 on Orlando. The IP Symposium will address recent developments and important issues in IP law, including: Perspectives on the America Invents Act, Copyright Law and the First Sale Doctrine, Third Party Liability in IP, Enforcing IP on the Internet, Latest Developments in Patent, Trademark, and Copyright Law, and Recent Developments at the TTAB. Guest speakers include; Anne Gilson LaLonde, Scott Bain, John Welch, and many others. [Link]
  • Section 101 Gatekeepers: Finding the Patentable Subject Matter Line in a Judicial Sandstorm, webinar will be hosted by AIPLA on March 7. The webinar will be presented by Professor Christopher Holman and attorney Robert H. Fischer. [Link]
  • LES (USA & Canada) 2012 Winter Meeting will be held March 12-14 in Anaheim, CA. The meeting will focus on cutting-edge issues in the high tech space with overlapping content in related industries, including clean tech, nanotech, and medical devices. Featured speakers include Honorable Randall Rader, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; Catherine Casserly, CEO, Creative Commons; and Patrick Ennis, Head of Global Technology, Intellectual Ventures. Save $100 before January 31. [Link]
  • C5's 22 Forum on Biotech Patenting conference will take place March 14-15 in Munich, Germany. The conference brings together experienced in-house counsel from both innovator and generic pharma and biotech companies and their expert legal advisors from various jurisdictions across the globe. Session will cover the patentability of gene sequence patents in Europe and the US, current developments on biotech products and patent considerations for bio-deposits, and many other sessions. (Patently-O readers register with PO 10 for a discount). [Link]
  • American Conference Institute's FDA Boot Camp conference is scheduled for March 20-21 in New York, NY. ACI's FDA Boot Camp has been designed to give products or patent litigators, as well as patent prosecutors, industry in-house counsel, and life sciences investment and securities experts, a strong working knowledge of core FDA competencies. (Patently-O readers register with PO 200 for a discount). [Link]
  • American Conference Institute's PTO Procedures Under the America Invents Act conference is scheduled for March 26-27 in New York, NY. This conference will serve as a practical and tactical guide for PTO practice post-Patent Reform. (Patently-O readers register with PO 200 for a discount). [Link]

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