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Author: Jessica Miles

Thank Godfrey for Small Favors:  Federal Circuit Upholds Continuation Filing Deadline in Immersion Corp. v. HTC Corp.

Interestingly, the court unearthed an 1864 Supreme Court decision, Godfrey v. Eames, 68 U.S. 317 (1864), for the origin of same-day continuations and the idea of copendency. The court opined that the intent of the drafters of the 1952 Patent Act was to codify the longstanding practice of following Godfrey’s rule

Patent Eligibility of Medical Diagnostics Still Cloudy — Supreme Court Won’t Shed Light on Controversial Sequenom Ruling

The Supreme Court has denied the petition for certiorari in Ariosa v. Sequenom, dashing hopes that it would reconsider the patent subject matter eligibility strictures on medical diagnostics and other technologies established by the scope of its Myriad, Mayo, and Alice rulings. As we reported previously, Sequenom petitioned the court in March of this year, asking:

Whether a novel method is patent-eligible where: (1) a researcher is the first to discover a natural phenomenon; (2) that unique knowledge motivates him to apply a new combination of known techniques to that discovery; and (3) he thereby achieves a previously impossible result without preempting other uses of the discovery?

Where’s the Beef? – Livestock Patents Slaughtered in PTAB’s First PGR Ruling

After undertaking its first post-grant review (PGR) since the passage of the America Invents Act (AIA), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) invalidated two patents last Monday. Citing the 2014 Alice decision, the board ruled that patents 8,660,888 and 8,725,557 claimed patent-ineligible abstract ideas, and that the ‘557 patent was obvious over the prior art.
The patents had been granted to Leachman Cattle of Colorado LLC. In its petition for review, the American Simmental Association challenged that Leachman’s method of “determining an animal’s relative economic value based on its genetic and physical traits” was not patent eligib

The Emergent Microbiome: A Revolution for the Life Sciences – Part VI, Diagnostics

With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in 2010, preventive medicine – services that focus on disease prevention, rather than disease treatment – became a major focus of healthcare and the market for medical diagnostics expanded to meet a growing demand. During the same time, faster and less expensive next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) and improvements in cloud storage, which facilitated the analysis of sequence data, boosted the development of microbiome-based diagnostics.

Micro-biome Receives Macro-funding from White House Initiative

Over the past year our firm has been reporting on major intellectual property developments and the R&D and commercialization efforts in the microbiome. The importance of this scientific area for bringing new drug therapies to the marketplace has now been given a big shot in the arm by the US government. On Friday, May 13, the White House launched a public-private coalition “to foster the integrated study of microbiomes across different ecosystems.” This expansive R&D effort comes with $121 million of funding from the federal government, with another $100+ million of investments from academia and the private sector.

Trade Secrets Bill Passes Senate in Unanimous Vote

With an 87-0 vote, the Senate approved the Defend Trade Secret Act (DTSA, S. 1890) on Monday. The bill, which was backed by the White House, amends the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (EEA) to provide recourse for companies that experience trade secret theft.

Currently, the EEA criminalizes trade secret theft, but, according to Senate Finance Committee chair and bill co-sponsor Orrin Hatch (R-UT), relies on an overburdened Department of Justice for enforcement. Moreover, companies seeking redress must contend with a patchwork of variable state laws.

Will Biosimilar Manufacturers Have to Wait? Sandoz Petitions Supreme Court for an Answer

Last week, Sandoz, the generic pharmaceuticals division of Novartis, petitioned the Supreme Court to review a Federal Circuit decision concerning a case involving Zarxio, its biosimilar version of Amgen’s Neupogen. At issue is the court’s interpretation of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA). The BPCIA establishes an alternative pathway for FDA approval of biosimilars and patent-dispute resolution, allowing litigation prior to FDA approval and marketing of biosimilars.

The Emergent Microbiome: A Revolution for the Life Sciences – Part V, Patents Relating to Obesity and Metabolic Disorders

This is the fifth installment in a series on advancements in microbiome research and development. This article will summarize issued U.S. microbiome-based patents that describe therapies relating to obesity and other metabolic disorders. It is a follow-up to the fourth part of the series, which reviewed important research and development in this subject area. The patents reviewed herein are neatly summarized in the table at the end of this installment.

The diet and nutrition industry is big business: the industry brings in over $60 billion dollars from the nation’s 100 million-plus dieters. Yet, years of R&D have failed to produce a blockbuster weight loss drug. Clearly, there is a big incentive to develop new and effective therapies for this area, particularly considering the risks and adverse events that have plagued previous prescription therapies, and companies are looking to the untapped potential of the microbiome for an elusive wonder drug.

The Emergent Microbiome: A Revolution for the Life Sciences – Part IV, Obesity and other Metabolic Disorders

Some of the earliest evidence for the relationship between the microbiome and obesity came from studies of antibiotics and their association with weight gain in livestock, which pointed to a link between microbiome composition and weight maintenance. A 2006 study from the laboratory of the prominent researcher Jeffrey Gordon uncovered a mechanism by which some gut bacteria trigger obesity. Lead author Peter Turnbaugh and his colleagues noted that obese mice had different microbiomes than their lean littermates. The same was true of lean and obese human twins. When Gordon’s team characterized this phenomenon, they found that the microbiomes in obese mice and humans obtain more calories from food as compared to the microbiomes of their lean counterparts. In addition, when the researchers transferred the gut bacteria of an obese mouse to a germ free one, the formerly germ free mouse became obese.