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A quarterly newsletter from the Intellectual Property Practice Group at Thompson Coburn LLP Green Tech Gets the Green Light By William Holtz, Ph.D. In December 2009, the United States Patent and applicants to petition to have their green technology Trademark Office (USPTO) implemented a pilot pro- applications examined out of turn, thus reducing the gram to accelerate the examination of certain patent time it takes to obtain a patent by about one year. applications pertaining to green technologies. These technologies include improving environmental quality, Under the pilot program, the USPTO will accept the energy conservation, renewable energy resources first 3,000 petitions to make special for non-provi- and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.1 In a news sional utility applications filed before December 8, release announcing the Green Technology Pilot Pro- 2009, that have not yet received a first office action.3 gram, the USPTO stated “The new initiative, coming The program does not include applications filed after days before the United Nations Climate Change Con- December 8, 2009, and thus is not necessarily an ference in Copenhagen, Denmark, will accelerate the incentive to file new green technology applications. development and deployment of green technology, Petitions to make special under the pilot program create green jobs, and promote U.S. competitiveness must be filed before December 8, 2010. Eligible in this vital sector.”2 U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary applications must be ones assigned to an approved Locke was quoted as saying “by ensuring that many art classification.4 Although the eligible classifications new products will receive patent protection more currently do not cover all areas of green technologies, quickly, we can encourage our brightest innovators depending on the effectiveness of the pilot program to invest needed resources in developing new tech- and the resources available, the program may be nologies and help bring those technologies to market extended to include more classifications in the future.
Petitions to make special must be accompanied by The goal of the Green Technology Pilot Program is a request for early publication and an early publica- to decrease the pendency of previously filed appli- tion fee if the application has not been published. cations. According to the USPTO, it currently takes Eligible applications may contain a maximum of three about 30 months for applications in green technology independent and twenty total claims. Claims may be areas to receive a first office action and 40 months amended or canceled to meet this requirement. The to receive a final decision. The pilot program allows USPTO has also indicated that for applications cur- Green Tech Gets the Green Light by William Holtz, Ph.D. . 1Federal Circuit “Messes with Texas” on Motions to Transfer by Jason M. Schwent . 3Lowering the Bar for Filing Declaratory Judgment Actions: Triggering Declaratory Judgment Jurisdiction by Pamela M. Miller . 5Are Test Results Required to Show the Utility of an Incredible Pharmaceutical Invention? by Steven M. Ritchey and Charles P. Romano Ph.D. . 6 Thompson Coburn LLP ∙ One US Bank Plaza, St. Louis, Missouri 63101 rently assigned to a non-eligible art classification, it is 1 Pilot Program for Green Technologies Including possible to amend the scope of the claims so that the Greenhouse Gas Reduction, 74 Fed. Reg. 64,666 claimed invention will potentially fall under an eligible (Dec. 8, 2009), available at http://www.uspto.gov/ classification. The applicant can then suggest to the USPTO that the amended application be assigned an 2 Press Release, United States Patent and Trademark eligible art classification. Also, for applications not Office, The U.S. Commerce Department’s Patent and yet assigned an art classification, the applicant may Trademark Office (USPTO) Will Pilot a Program to suggest that the application be assigned to an eligible Accelerate the Examination of Certain Green Technol- ogy Patent Applications (Dec. 7, 2009), http://www.
In a January 12, 2010 article, David Kappos, the Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the 3 Applications entering the U.S. national stage under United States Patent and Trademark Office, said that 35 U.S.C. § 371 on or after December 8, 2009, may after barely a month, several hundred requests to also be eligible to participate in the pilot program if make special had been filed.6 Kappos was optimistic the international application on which the U.S. appli- that after the initial twelve month duration of the pilot cation is based was filed before December 8, 2009.
program, the success of the program will warrant 4 A list of the eligible art classifications can be found committing more USPTO resources to “speed U.S. at 74 Fed. Reg. 64,666, 64,668-69 (Dec. 8, 2009), green-tech innovations into the marketplace where available at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/law/ they can address climate change and create jobs.” In a summary report posted on the USPTO website on 5 Frequently Asked Questions about the Pilot Program February 24, 2010, the office reported that it had re- for Green Technologies Including Greenhouse Gas ceived 773 petitions, 117 of which had been granted, Reduction, http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/ and 328 of which were still awaiting a decision.
faqs_on_green_tech_20091222.pdf (last visited Feb-ruary 10, 2010).
In short, the scope of the Green Technologies Pilot Program is somewhat narrow because it only ap- 6 David Kappos, Patents Key to Fighting Climate plies to pending applications in a limited number of Change, Law360, January 12, 2010, http://www.
classifications. Inventors of eligible applications may law360.com/articles/141988 (Law360 subscribers find that the quicker examination period of the pilot program offers them a real advantage in bringing their technologies to the world.
William A. Holtz Ph.D. is an associate in the Intellectual Property Department of Thompson Coburn LLP. Prior to beginning a career in law in 2005, Dr. Holtz was a research scientist for Monsanto Company. He has extensive experience in molecular cloning, RNA and DNA purification, cell culture, immunohistochemis-try, protein expression, protein purification, quantitative PCR, gene array analysis, and microscopy in assisting in the preparation and prosecution of biotechnology and pharmaceutical patent applications.
Dr. Holtz can be reached at 314-552-6512 or [email protected] Federal Circuit “Messes with Texas”on Motions to Transfer By Jason M. Schwent Because of its patent specific local rules and per- Binder, there were witnesses in the plaintiff’s chosen ceived “rocket docket,” the Eastern District of Texas forum.5 Turning next to the Fifth Circuit’s “100 mile is a popular forum for plaintiffs to file patent in- rule,”6 which looks to the average distance to be trav- fringement litigation. Motions to transfer are a fairly elled for potential witnesses when the proposed trans- common response by patent litigation defendants in fer venue is more than 100 miles from the plaintiff’s that district. It is also fairly common for such motions choice, the Court believed that the rule should not to be denied. Recent decisions of the Federal Circuit be rigidly applied.7 Instead, the Federal Circuit noted appear to indicate a greater willingness to grant these that when witnesses must travel a significant distance, motions. They also provide direction on several fac- especially from a foreign country, requiring them to tors cited by the district court judges for justifying their travel to a different U.S. district did not significantly denials of motions to transfer. In 2009, four denials of increase their inconvenience.8 This is particularly motions to transfer were appealed from the E.D. Texas true when there are multiple witnesses located in the to the Federal Circuit and in three of those cases, the proposed transfer forum who would undoubtedly be Federal Circuit held that clear error had been com- inconvenienced should the case remain in the E.D. One common thread among the cases where the Another common argument made during the con- Federal Circuit ordered a transfer was a lack of par- sideration of motions to transfer is that the location ties, witnesses, and evidence in the E.D. Texas. Most of evidence is of less importance now that discovery recently, this lack of connection to the E.D. Texas was and production can be done electronically. Relying on critical to Federal Circuit’s finding that the denial of a Fifth Circuit law, which requires district courts to con- motion to transfer was clear error in In re Nintendo.1 sider the location of evidence as part of the motion to In Nintendo, none of the parties were incorporated transfer analysis, the Genentech panel held that mini- in Texas, no witnesses were located in Texas, and the mizing the importance of document location (even parties did not identify any evidence located in Texas. where those documents are electronic) was improper The Federal Circuit discussed that because four wit- because it rendered superfluous the consideration of nesses and the majority of the defendants’ evidence were located in the Western District of Washington, it was a much more convenient and less costly forum The Federal Circuit was equally unpersuaded by to host the litigation and that it also had a much conduct designed to manufacture a connection to stronger particularized local interest in the litigation.2 the venue. In In re Hoffmann-La Roche, the plaintiff The Federal Circuit also noted that the district court sent some 75,000 pages of documents to its local placed too much weight on the “plaintiff’s choice of counsel’s offices in the E.D. Texas prior to filing suit.11 forum” factor. The Federal Circuit held that the plain- The trial judge found that those documents were tiff’s choice to bring the action in the E.D. Texas was “Texas” documents and favored keeping the case in due no additional weight during the transfer analysis the E.D. Texas. The Federal Circuit saw things differ- as plaintiff’s choice of forum formed the basis of plac- ently. According to the Federal Circuit, the transfer of ing the burden of demonstrating that there was good those documents to local counsel’s office was clearly cause for the transfer on the party seeking transfer.3 a litigation ploy designed to manufacture a connec-tion to the venue that could not defeat an otherwise A common tactic for keeping litigation in the E.D. Texas when witnesses are located throughout the country is to argue that Texas, being centrally located, The case of In re Volkswagen of America was the lone provides as convenient a location as any other dis- case where the denial of transfer was upheld by the trict, thus negating the good cause to transfer. When Federal Circuit in 2009.13 In Volkswagen, the plaintiff the Federal Circuit recently addressed this argument had filed two patent infringement lawsuits in the E.D. in In re Genentech, it was not persuaded that the Texas against two different sets of defendants on the central location of Texas warranted denying transfer.4 same patents. A third patent infringement litigation in- In so finding, the Federal Circuit distinguished the volving those same patents had also previously been U.S. v. Binder case relied upon by plaintiff because, in transferred to the E.D. Texas. When the defendants in one action sought transfer to Michigan, the trial judge 5 Id. at 1344 (distinguishing U.S. v. Binder, 794 F.2d analyzed the public and private convenience factors 1195 (7th Cir. 1986) because witnesses in Binder and determined that the defendants failed to satisfy were located in plaintiff’s chosen forum).
their burden of showing that transfer was warranted.14 6 As enunciated by the Fifth Circuit, the “100-mile Interestingly, the judge’s decision on the motion to rule” is as follows: “When the distance between an transfer made no mention of the other litigations existing venue for trial of a matter and a proposed pending in the district. In contrast, on appeal, the venue under § 1404(a) is more than 100 miles, the Federal Circuit made no mention of the public and factor of inconvenience to witnesses increases in private convenience factors and instead focused direct relationship to the additional distance to be entirely on the other pending litigations in upholding the decision to deny transfer. According to the Federal Circuit, “the existence of multiple lawsuits involving 7 See id. (“However, the ‘100-mile’ rule should not be the same issues is a paramount consideration when rigidly applied such that it creates the result presented determining whether a transfer is in the interest of 8 See id.
9 See id. (“In contrast to the foreign witnesses, there The Federal Circuit’s recent decisions provide some are a substantial number of witnesses residing within guidelines for presenting or responding to a motion to the transferee venue who would be unnecessarily transfer and the initial selection of a venue. First, it is inconvenienced by having to travel away from home imperative to determine whether some party, witness, to testify in the Eastern District of Texas.”).
or evidence is located in the venue — even where witnesses and evidence are otherwise distributed 10 See id. (holding that “the court’s antiquated era throughout the country. Second, transparent litiga- argument was essentially rejected in [In re Volkswagen tion tactics are unlikely to keep otherwise transferable of Am., Inc., [545 F.3d 304, 316 (5th Cir. 2008)(en cases in the district. Lastly, filing multiple lawsuits banc)] because it would render this factor superflu- against different sets of defendants on the same pat- ents, may provide a basis for keeping litigation in the 11 In re Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., 587 F.3d 1333 (Fed. 1 In re Nintendo Co., Ltd, 2009 WL 4842589 (Fed. Id. at 1337 (“Thus, the assertion that these docu- ments are ‘Texas’ documents is a fiction which ap-pears to [sic] have been created to manipulate the 13 In re Volkswagen of Am., Inc., 566 F.3d 1349 (Fed. 4 In re Genentech, Inc., 566 F.3d 1338 (Fed. Cir. Jason M. Schwent has extensive experience in litigating complex patent, trade-mark and copyright matters in administrative proceedings, state and federal courts. He has substantial experience in drafting and reviewing open source and proprie-tary software licenses, counseling clients regarding media licensing and technology transfer and advising clients about maximizing the protection for their intellectual property assets. Mr. Schwent also has significant experience representing and advis-ing established and emerging technology companies, multi-national manufacturing companies and large Fortune 500 corporations.
Mr. Schwent can be reached at 314-552-6291 or [email protected] Lowering the Bar for Filing Declaratory Judgment ActionsTriggering Declaratory Judgment Jurisdiction By Pamela M. Miller The recent Federal Circuit decision in Acceleron con- has been attempting to determine how low the bar tinues to lower the threshold for declaratory judgment has been set.5 As the Federal Circuit noted in Accel- jurisdiction, particularly when an accused infringer is eron, “a lowered bar does not mean no bar at all.”6 Following the Supreme Court’s guidance in Med- It is common for a patent owner to send a letter Immune, the Federal Circuit in Acceleron reversed to an accused infringer requesting that it stop an the district court’s dismissal for lack of declaratory alleged infringing activity. Although these types of judgment jurisdiction.7 Acceleron, a patent hold- letters can result in the patent owner and the accused ing company, acquired a patent only months before infringer reaching an agreement without litigation, it sent a demand letter to Hewlett-Packard (“HP”) sending such a letter is not without risk. Such letters “call[ing] attention” to the patent as relevant to HP’s may provide the accused infringer the right to file a product line.8 Acceleron requested HP to respond declaratory judgment action seeking a judgment that within two weeks, provided HP agree that any infor- the patent is invalid, unenforceable, or not infringed. mation exchanged would not be used for litigation These declaratory judgment actions are often consid- and that no declaratory judgment jurisdiction existed.9 ered to be unfavorable to the patent owner because HP responded to Acceleron’s letter by agreeing to not they enable the accused infringer to choose the forum file an action for a set period of time only if Accel- of the litigation and may give the plaintiff the privilege eron similarly agreed. Acceleron refused and again of putting on its case first. For these reasons, such imposed another deadline, noting this time that there letters were usually drafted in a manner that would was no basis for declaratory judgment jurisdiction.10 make it unlikely that the letter could be the basis for a HP filed a declaratory judgment action that was dis- The declaratory judgment playing field changed in On appeal, the Federal Circuit viewed the facts 2007 with the Supreme Court’s decision in MedIm- objectively under the totality of the circumstances to mune, which rejected the Federal Circuit’s long- find that the implicit assertion of Acceleron’s patent standing test for determining whether an accused rights in its demand letters was sufficient to establish infringer has the right to file a declaratory judgment declaratory judgment jurisdiction when coupled with action.2 The old Federal Circuit test involved deter- Acceleron’s conduct.12 The court concluded that mining whether the accused infringer had a reason- Acceleron’s actions could reasonably be inferred able apprehension of imminent suit being brought as demonstrating an intent to enforce those patent by the patent owner. In MedImmune, the Supreme rights.13 The lack of any express or explicit asser- Court ruled that a broader “all circumstances” test tion of infringement by Acceleron in its communica- should be used to determine whether, under the facts tions with HP was not fatal for the establishment of alleged, “there is a substantial controversy, between jurisdiction. Significant to the court’s decision was parties having adverse legal interests, of sufficient Acceleron’s status as a patent holding company, i.e. immediacy and reality to warrant the issuance of a a non-practicing entity that solely licenses its patents. declaratory judgment.”3 The Court found declaratory As the Federal Circuit noted, “without enforcement judgment jurisdiction where the declaratory plaintiff [Acceleron] receives no benefits from its patents.”14 was effectively coerced into paying royalties under Also significant was the fact that Acceleron identified a licensing agreement, noting that a patent licensee its patent to and imposed deadlines upon HP.15 need not breach a license agreement to create a reasonable apprehension of suit before it can seek The bar seems to have been significantly lowered declaratory judgment.4 Unlike the Federal Circuit’s as Acceleron made no claim of infringement and previous test, a patent holder may no longer avoid a demanded no license or royalty agreement from declaratory judgment action by controlling its action HP. Although mere knowledge of a patent owned by so as to fall short of creating in the accused infringer another or the perception that a patent poses a risk a reasonable apprehension of imminent suit. After of infringement is not enough, it is an open question MedImmune, something less could suffice to confer after Acceleron what action a patent owner may take declaratory judgment jurisdiction. The Federal Circuit without triggering declaratory judgment jurisdiction. Patent owners, in general, and those that do not v. Novartis Pharms. Corp., 482 F.3d 1330 (Fed. Cir. practice the patent, in particular, should be aware 2007); San-Disk Corp. v. STMicroelectronics, Inc., that sending a letter informing someone of their pat- ent even without alleging infringement or demanding 6 Acceleron, 587 F.3d at 1362.
license fees may be considered by a court to be suf-ficiently threatening to the recipient to trigger declara- 1 See Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Acceleron LLC, 587 F.3d 1358 (Fed. Cir. 2009).
2 MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., 549 U.S. 118 11 Id. at 1361 (citing Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Accel- eron, LLC, 601 F. Supp.2d 581 (D. Del. 2009)).
3 Id. at 127 (quoting Md. Cas. Co. v. Pac. Coal & Oil 5 See, e.g., Cat Tech LLC v. TubeMaster, Inc., 528 F.3d. 871 (Fed. Cir. 2008); Teva Pharms. USA, Inc. Pamela M. Miller represents clients in actions involving patent and trademark infringement, unfair competition and media law issues. Ms. Miller has litigated a number of these matters, arguing objections before federal district judges, draft-ing pleadings and responsive briefs, preparing expert and fact witnesses and using state of the art technology to display exhibits and other documents. A former research and development chemist, Ms. Miller’s experience and in-depth techni-cal knowledge allow her to effectively assist clients in actions involving chemical patents and technology.
Ms. Miller can be reached at 314-552-6322 or [email protected] Are Test Results Required to Show the Utility of an Incredible Pharmaceutical Invention? By Steven M. Ritchey and Charles P. Romano Ph.D. To obtain a patent on an invention, the claimed At issue in the ’318 Litigation were claims directed to invention must have utility and the patent specifica- methods of treating Alzheimer’s disease with gal- tion must, among other things, enable a person of antamine. In this case, there was no dispute as to ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention the operability of the claimed methods of treating without undue experimentation. The relationship of Alzheimer’s. In fact, the drug was ultimately approved the utility and enablement requirements is well-es- by the Food and Drug Administration for use in treat- tablished, since it is impossible to teach the use of an ing Alzheimer’s. The patent is little more than a page invention that is useless or inoperable.1 Thus, a patent in length and contained a brief analysis of various pri- specification that fails to convey an assertion of “cred- or art references, a brief description of drug adminis- ible utility” is invalid for a lack of enablement. Cred- tration methods and doses, and a brief description of ible utility was the focus of In re ’318 Patent Infringe- a published “test that provides a good animal model ment Litigation, a case in which a three-judge panel for Alzheimer’s disease in humans.” Absent from the of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a patent were any working examples of the claimed trial court decision that a patent on an operable and methods. Working examples, even when conducted otherwise enabled invention was invalid for a lack of in cultured cells or other test systems, have long been enablement because the specification lacked credible deemed sufficient evidence of utility when there is a utility at the time the patent application was filed.2 reasonable correlation between a compound’s activity and the claimed therapeutic use.3 In reaching its decision that the ’318 patent claims even if such inferences could substitute for an explicit were not enabled, the Federal Circuit seemed to re- description of utility.”9 In summary, the court held that gard as significant the fact that the specification did not “the patent specification, even read in the light of the disclose any in vitro experiments with living organisms knowledge of those skilled in the art, does no more or animal tests. Although animal testing results show- than state a hypothesis and propose testing to deter- ing galantamine was effective for treating Alzheimer’s disease were eventually obtained by the inventor, they “required several months and considerable effort by In addition to In re Brana, Judge Gajarsa addressed researchers,” and were not available until about two what he perceived to be the majority’s improper fusion months after the patent issued.4 The court’s major- of credible utility in the context of enablement with ity continued to expound upon the importance of test reduction to practice, which was not at issue: “Such a results stating “[t]ypically, patent applications claim- conflation risks the introduction of an actual reduction- ing new methods of treatment are supported by test to-practice requirement into patent law, contrary to results” and “[w]e have held that results from animal more than a century of settled precedent.”10 tests or in vitro experiments may be sufficient to satisfy the utility requirement.”5 Further, the majority noted The full impact of In re ’318 Patent Infringement that “‘[w]e perceive no insurmountable difficulty, under Litigation remains to be seen. Ultimately, it may have appropriate circumstances, in finding that the first link limited applicability to other situations because of its in the screening chain, in vitro testing, may establish a particular facts — the case involved an unusually short practical utility for the [pharmaceutical] compound in specification with no working examples and the inven- question’ in order for a patent to issue.”6 tor made statements during prosecution and litigation that perhaps could have been more precisely worded, As mentioned above, test results were obtained shortly which the majority seemed to consider important.11 after the patent issued but the trial court ruled that the That said, it seems there are generally applicable results could not be used to establish credible utility lessons to take away from In re ’318 Patent Infringe- necessary for enablement because they were not ment Litigation for both patentees and challengers of available at the time the application was filed. The an issued patent. First, although additional evidence majority of the appellate court looked to In re Brana to support the scientific credibility of an asserted utility to support the affirmance of the trial court’s decision, may be submitted to the Patent Office during prosecu- which apparently they believed stands for the proposi- tion of the application to counter other inconsistent tion that post-filing results are not to be considered evidence of record or current scientific knowledge,12 a when evaluating enablement.7 Judge Gajarsa, in his court may not be able to consider such evidence and dissent, disputed the majority’s characterization of may be limited to considering what is disclosed in the In re Brana and asserted that the Brana panel found patent application itself.13 Therefore, if an invention is post-filing test results to be acceptable for supporting groundbreaking or contrary to current scientific knowl- edge (e.g., an invention claiming to diagnose, treat, or cure a disease or condition known to be to dif- The majority then addressed the plaintiff’s argument ficult to treat such as a cancer or Alzheimer’s disease) that utility may be established without testing the pro- it is probably advisable to include disclosure in the posed treatment in the claimed environment or a suf- application sufficient to counter what contemporary ficiently similar predictive environment — in this case knowledge might otherwise suggest. Second, for such by analytic reasoning. Although the majority noted “incredible” inventions, the importance of including that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Manual working examples showing a reasonable correla- of Patent Examining Procedure allows for arguments tion between a compound’s activity and the claimed or reasoning to establish an invention’s therapeutic therapeutic results has been highlighted. Although the utility, it also pointed out that those guidelines were majority did not expressly hold that working examples not binding on the court. The majority further noted were required, the lack of them appeared to be a ma- that there were no cases in which analysis was the jor factor that led to their decision. Third, in situations sole basis for establishing utility. Nonetheless, the where it is not possible to provide a working example, court considered the plaintiff’s testimonial evidence of patent applicants may wish to expressly articulate the the various “insights” that could be gleaned from the novel and non-obvious insights they gained from the prior art summarized in the specification. The major- prior art that led to their claimed invention rather than ity was unpersuaded because the insights weren’t possibly being required to argue those insights may be expressly disclosed in the specification and there “was inferred from the patent specification. As suggested, no evidence that someone skilled in the art would the majority doubted whether an inference of utility infer galantamine’s utility from the specification, “could substitute for an explicit description of utility.”14 1 See In re Brana, 51 F.3d 1560 (Fed. Cir. 1995); Newman v. Quigg, 877 F.2d 1575, 1581 (Fed. Cir. 11 See Id. at 1322, 1327 (“[The inventor] responded 2 In re ’318 Patent Infringement Litigation, 583 F.3d to an obviousness rejection by explaining that, because the brains of the animals in the studies 3 See In re Brana at 1565-66.
cited in the specification were ‘normal’ (rather than 4 In re ’318 Patent Infringement Litigation at 1322.
having ‘physiological changes’ similar to Alzheimer’s disease), the studies were conducted under ‘circum- stances having no relevance to Alzheimer’s disease,’ 6 Id. at 1325 (quoting Cross v. Iizuka, 753 F.2d 1040, and that it thus would be ‘baseless’ to predict from such studies that galantamine would be useful to treat Alzheimer’s disease.”); (“[W]hen I submitted this pat- 7 See Id. at 1325 (citing In re Brana at 1566).
ent, I certainly wasn’t sure, and a lot of other people 8 Id. at 1330 n.1 (citing In re Brana at 1567) (“The weren’t sure that cholinesterase inhibitors[, a category majority’s claim that ‘unlike the present case, the test- of agents that includes galantamine,] would ever ing [in Brana] was submitted to the PTO during pros- ecution’ is misleading. The appeal in Brana was taken 12 Manual of Patent Examining Procedure § 2107.02.
from the Board of Patent Appeals . . . . And thus the Brana panel could not have intended to provide for a 13 See In re ’318 Patent Infringement Litigation at distinction between the test results offered to support the credible utility of an otherwise enabling disclosure Steven M. Ritchey’s professional experience includes the preparation and pros-ecution of patent applications, both domestically and internationally. His experience includes a wide range of technical disciplines, including agriscience, biotechnology, organic chemistry, fuel cell catalytic technology, rechargeable battery technology, silicon wafer technology, nuclear medical materials, polymer technology, solder alloys and metal plating technology. Mr. Ritchey’s practice includes the negotiation and preparation of technology alliance and license agreements, as well as prepar-ing opinion letters regarding infringement, validity issues and freedom to operate.
Mr. Ritchey can be reached at 314-552-6232 or [email protected] Charles P. Romano, Ph.D. is a Senior Patent Agent in Thompson Coburn LLP’s Intellectual Property Practice. A former Research Director at Monsanto and Ap-ath, Dr. Romano has over fourteen years of experience in the biotech industry. He is a named inventor on ten issued United States patents in molecular biology, agricultural biotechnology and pharmaceutical discovery and has published in peer-reviewed scientific journals such as Genes and Development, The Plant Cell, EMBO Journal and PNAS-USA. Key achievements include leadership of the team that identified the initial Monsanto YieldGard® Rootworm product and acquisition of more than $1 million in Small Business Innovation Research Awards from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Romano prepares and prosecutes biotech and pharmaceutical patent applications before the US Patent and Trademark Office as a registered patent agent.
Dr. Romano can be reached at 314-552-6255 or [email protected] This newsletter is intended for information only and should not be considered legal advice. If you desire legal advice for a particular situation you should consult an attorney.
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