Microsoft v. i4i Case: BIO Joins 260 Business, Research Institutions and Organizations to Urge Caution in

Re: Microsoft Corp. v. i4i L.P. and Infrastructures for Information Inc., pending in the United States Supreme Court, No. 10-290

Washington, D.C., December 22, 2010;
With 90 additional signatories, January 13, 2011

Dear Attorney General Holder,
Dear Acting Solicitor General Katyal:

On behalf of the 261 undersigned businesses, research institutions, technology startup companies and organizations representing American innovation from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, we are writing concerning the pending consideration of the Microsoft v. i4i appeal in the United States Supreme Court. We are greatly concerned that a reversal of the lower court’s decision in this case could seriously weaken the presumption of validity that attaches to millions of patents in force in the United States today, thereby undermining longstanding investment-backed reliance interests that are critical for domestic job creation and economic growth, and for U.S. technological leadership internationally.

The U.S. patent system is the strongest in the world. It promotes innovation by facilitating the investment necessary for small businesses to form and grow, and for more established businesses to continue competing and thriving in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Our patent system helps ensure that the United States can continue to reap the benefit of innovation and advances in technology, which creates jobs and growth opportunities in every state and every sector of our economy.

Private investment in innovation, however, is predicated on the ability of businesses to rely on the strength and presumed validity of issued patents for product development, partnering, and licensing decisions. The public, likewise, has an expectation that patents that were examined and granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office confer valid rights that should be respected and on which it can rely. Accordingly, courts have required since long before the enactment of the 1952 Patent Act that those who seek to challenge a patent before a lay jury or generalist judge must carry a heightened burden of proof, under which the facts underlying the validity challenge must be proved to a high degree of probability, by “clear and convincing evidence.”

Permitting infringers to invalidate patents on a lower standard of evidence, as is now proposed in the Microsoft v. i4i case, could thus frustrate decades of settled expectations under which large investments were made in reliance on patents that were believed to carry a strong presumption of validity. Shifting the law to a weaker presumption of validity could also deeply affect the prospective investment and product development decisions of innovative businesses, affect public-private technology transfer, and profoundly change the behavior of patent applicants and litigants.

We believe this issue to be of critical importance for domestic innovation, job creation, and the Nation’s technological leadership internationally. Accordingly, we respectfully request you to carefully consider these implications as you develop any position that the United States Government may take on this important Supreme Court appeal. We also would urge you to seek input from a wide range of stakeholders across the U.S. economy and from within the U.S. Government to ensure that any such position will help preserve and promote innovation across the broad spectrum of the American economy.

We thank you for considering our views on this crucial matter, and we look forward to working with you in this regard.

Respectfully submitted,

3M Company
St. Paul, MN
Ace Vision Group Inc.
Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Acorda Therapeutics Inc.
Hawthorne, NY
Acorn Cardiovascular
New Brighton, MN
ActiveVideo Networks, Inc.
San Jose, CA
Acustream LLC
McLean, VA
Adams Capital Management, Inc.
Boston, MA
Advanced BioHealing
Westport, CT
Advanced System Technologies, Inc.
Oakland, CA
Aero Marine Co.
Port Townsend, WA
Alkermes
Waltham, MA
Allergan Inc.
Irvine, CA
Alliance for American Innovation
Washington, DC
Allvivo Vascular Inc.
Lake Forest, CA
Alpha Scientific Corp.
Malvern, PA
Amgen Inc.
Thousand Oaks, CA
American Innovators for Patent Reform
New York, NY
Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc.
San Diego, CA
Anatomic Research, Inc.
Arlington, VA
Antigenics
Lexington, MA
APJeT Inc.
Santa Fe, NM
Apnex Medical Inc.
St. Paul, MN
ArborGen
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Articulinx
Cupertino, CA
Aspiration Innovation Inc.
Fort Collins, CO
Augme Technologies Inc.
New York, NY
Automotive Technologies International, Inc.
Denville, NJ
B&R Plastics Inc.
Denver, CO
BASF
Florham Park, NJ
Bavarian Nordic
Washington, DC
Bayer CropScience
Morristown, NJ
Bayer HealthCare
Morristown, NJ
Bi-Level Technologies
Encinitas, CA
BIOCOM
San Diego, CA
BioForward
Madison, WI
BioMarin
Novato, CA
Biomerix Corporation
Fremont, CA
Biotechnology Industry Organization Washington, DC
BlueCava Inc.
Irvine, CA
BP America Inc.
Houston, TX
Brain Basket, LLC
Boulder, CO
Brainstorm, LLC
Colorado Springs, CO
Calibra Medical, Inc.
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California Healthcare Institute
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Calypso Medical
Seattle, WA
Cardiovascular Systems Inc
Saint Paul, MN
Cargill Inc.
Minneapolis, MN
Celleration Inc.
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Center for Patent Policy
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Ceres
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Cerevast Therapeutics Inc.
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CHF Solutions Inc.
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Chimerix Inc.
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Columbia Medical Manufacturing LLC
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Computrol Inc.
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Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc.
San Diego, CA
Conceptus Inc.
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CONNECT
San Diego, CA
Cornell University
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Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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Corning Incorporated
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Curo Medical Inc.
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Cyberonics
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Cygnus Broadband
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Delcath Systems Inc.
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Design Mentor Inc.
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Dolby Laboratories Inc.
San Francisco, CA
Dornet.net
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DuPont
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Dynatronics
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Eagle Harbor Holdings, LLC
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Eatoni Ergonomic, Inc.
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Edison Innovations, Inc.
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Eisai Inc.
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Element One Inc.
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Eli Lilly and Co.
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e-LYNXX Corp.
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Emerson Analytics, LLC
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EmpowerUs Tools Corp.
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Essentialink.com, LLC
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Essex Woodlands
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ExploraMed Development LLC
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Fallbrook Technologies Inc.
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Financial Healthcare Systems LLC Greenwood Village, CO
First Goal LLC
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ForSight Labs LLC
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ForSight VISION4 Inc.
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Forward Ventures
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Front Range Oil and Gas LLC
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GearMax USA Ltd.
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Genentech Inc.
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Gen-Probe Inc.
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Genzyme Corporation
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General Compression, Inc.
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General Electric Co.
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General Nanotechnology LLC
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Geron Corporation
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GlaxoSmithKline
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Global Network Computers Co.
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GlobeImmune, Inc.
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Grandis, Inc.
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GlycoMimetics Inc.
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Greatbatch
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Heritage Woods Inc.
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High Peaks Materials LLC
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High Plains Well Service LLC
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Human Genome Sciences
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HUNT Dimming
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Hydra Biosciences
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ICE Energy, Inc.
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Ideation HQ, LLC
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Ikaria
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Illinois Tool Works Inc.
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ImmunoGen Inc.
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Immunologix, Inc.
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Inovadeas LLLP
Fort Collins, CO
Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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InterDigital Communications LLC
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International Heart Institute of Montana
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InventorEd.org
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IP Checkups, Inc.
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Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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JBS Brainex, LLC
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Johnson & Johnson
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JSTranex, LLC
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KB Visions, Inc.
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Keeton Industries
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Kolltan Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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L&T Riser LLC
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LAAx Inc.
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Lateral Reservoir Stimulation LLC
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Lauder Partners, LLC
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LED Up Enterprises, Inc.
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Liberty Research Co.
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Life Technologies
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LifeScience Alley
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LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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Liquid Piston, Inc.
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LiquidBreaker, LLC
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LiquiLock LLC
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Luminous Medical Inc.
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Magsil Corp.
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MannKind Corp.
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Mardil Medical Inc.
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Marketcore, Inc.
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Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council (MassMEDIC)
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Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA)
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MedTech
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MedVenture Associates
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Merck & Co Inc.
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Metabolex, Inc.
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Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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Morfin Corp.
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Mountain View Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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NeoTract® Inc.
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Neovista Inc.
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Neuro Resource Group Inc.
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Neuronetics Inc.
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NeuroPace Inc.
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New Mexico Optics Industry Association
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New Zealand Australian Co.
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Norris Capital Inc.
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North Carolina Biosciences Organization
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Novo Nordisk Inc.
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OncoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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OnLive, Inc.
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OptiMark, Inc.
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Optimum Performance Solutions LLC, dba AcuityZ
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Oyster Optics, Inc.
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Paisano Industries, L.P.
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Paracor Medical Inc.
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ParkerVision Inc.
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PE Fusion
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Pfizer Inc.
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PH2 Solutions, Inc.
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PhotonEdge Inc.,
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PhRMA
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Pioneer Hi-Bred
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Pivot Medical Inc.
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POMOCO LLC
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PopPack LLC
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Portaero Inc.
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Procter & Gamble
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Professional Inventors Alliance
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PTC Therapeutics
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Purdue Pharma L.P.
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R R Enterprises, Inc.
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Rambus, Inc.
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Rearden LLC
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Research Corporation Technologies
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ResMed Corporation
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Roche (Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.)
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Sanofi-Aventis US
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Silere Medical Technology Inc.
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SoftRay Inc.
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Solar Hydrogen Energy Co.
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Soleon Robotics LLC
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SoSound Solutions LLC
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Soverain Software LLC
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Spiracur Inc.
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St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants, Inc.
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SuturePro Technologies Inc.
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SuVolta, Inc.
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Swan Valley Medical Inc.
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Sysdyne Corporation
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Tactile Systems Technology Inc.
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Tarsus Medical Inc.
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Tegracore LLC
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TeleMed/RLIS, Inc.
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Temple Construction
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Terra Moya Aqua Inc.
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Tessera Inc.
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Tethys Bioscience Inc.
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Textura Corp.
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The Foundry LLC
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The Health Industry Council
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The Innovation Factory
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The Regents of the University of California
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The Stella Group Ltd.
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Thunder Basin Environmental Consulting Inc.
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TI Funding Group New York NY
TiVo Inc.
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Tranex, Inc.
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TYRX Inc.
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Unicover Corporation
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Uniloc USA Inc.
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University of Kentucky
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Urovalve Inc.
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US Business and Industry Council
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US Renewables Group
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USG Corporation
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Valeritas Inc.
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Variant, Inc.
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Vehicle Enhancement Systems, Inc.
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Vertex Pharmaceuticals
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VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies Saratoga, CA
Volterra Semiconductor Corporation Fremont, CA
Walker Manufacturing Company
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Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association
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Wellington Operating Company
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Wellington Water Works LLC
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Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
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ZOLL Medical Corporation
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