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Patently Biotech's Top 5 Articles of 2012

January 2, 2013
2012 has been an eventful year for biotech IP issues.  Below are the top 5 articles and from Patently Biotech in 2012.  Click on the links to read the full articles.

1.  The Real Reason Why Salk Refused to Patent the Polio Vaccine

A guest writer in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal repeated the oft quoted Jonas Salk statement about his Polio vaccine: “There is no patent.  Could you patent the sun?”  Many use this statement as the moral impetus for refusing patents on medically important innovations (see Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story).  Unfortunately, Jonas Salk created a myth that day by leaving out several crucial details.

2.  Mayo v. Prometheus: BIO Statement on Supreme Court Decision

We are surprised and disappointed in the Court’s decision, which disregarded the considered judgment of the Executive Branch experts and numerous amici such as BIO, who warned about the unintended consequences of attempting to use patent eligibility as a basis to strike down these patents for biomarker-based diagnostic methods.

3.  Patent “Ever-Greening”: Novartis Confronts Patent Myth in India

India’s ‘increased efficacy’ patentability requirement for medicines prevents an improved form of a known drug from receiving a patent unless the new form is significantly more effective than the previously-known form. This provision aims to accomplish one task: stop patent “ever-greening.”  This issue has risen to prominence lately as the New York Times reports on the Novartis suit challenging patent ever-greening requirements in India’s Supreme Court.

4.  AUTM Website Helps Commercialize University Technologies

As president of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), I’m in a unique position of hearing from university technology managers who want more opportunity to interact with industry, and industry members who want to identify the latest breakthrough innovations. Industry investors and their academic licensing counterparts already come together for deal making at the AUTM Annual Meeting and at the BIO International Convention, but now we have a new resource to further augment in-person networking.

5.  Biotech Patent Case Law Updates at the IPCC

The Spring 2012 BIO Intellectual Property Counsels’ Committee (IPCC) Conference, held in Austin, Texas, provided an excellent forum for intellectual property (IP) practitioners in the biotech industry to socialize, network, and participate in panel discussions focusing on the dynamic developments in the patent laws.  The conference began for the general participants over margaritas and Tex-Mex fare, where attendees were already discussing recent Supreme Court and Federal Circuit decisions impacting the industry.  By the final panel on Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court had handed down two more opinions impacting the biotech industry.