Update on Pending Patent Law Reform + 10X

It has been more than two and a half years since the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) was signed into law. (See MedTechBrief of September 16, 2011) The AIA took more than six years of negotiation and marked the most significant change to the U.S. patent system since 1952. While various provisions of the AIA were still being implemented last year, Congress began introducing further patent reform legislation. Between February 2013 and March 2014, the House of Representatives introduced six … Continued

USPTO Satellite Office Moving Ahead in Silicon Valley

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced on Tuesday it plans to open a permanent office in Silicon Valley next year.  The USPTO also outlined plans to expand operations by hiring new Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) judges and patent examiners who will be based in the new regional office. The City of San Jose has offered approximately 40,000 square feet of permanent office space in its City Hall, located at 200 East Santa Clara Street.  Since its … Continued

USPTO and Federal Courts Remain Open

During the general government shutdown that began October 1, 2013: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will remain open, using prior year reserve fee collections to operate as usual for approximately four weeks.  However, the 18th Annual Independent Inventors Conference scheduled for October 11-12 at the USPTO has been cancelled.  Should the USPTO exhaust its reserve funds before the general government shutdown comes to an end, they will shut down at that time, although a very small staff would continue … Continued

Sequestration’s Effect on USPTO, FDA and Judiciary

In the six months that the federal budget sequestration has been in effect, it has had a detrimental impact on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Food and Drug Administration and the federal judiciary. Various bills have been introduced in Congress to eliminate these impacts but have had little success. PTO The PTO has a $2.9 billion fiscal 2013 budget and is self-funded by fees assessed on patent and trademark applicants.  In past years Congress has diverted a total … Continued

Supreme Court Ruling in Myriad Genetics

Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in the Myriad Genetics case that human genes are not patent eligible subject matter, even when isolated from the human body.  In this part of its ruling, the High Court reversed the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC).  However, the Supreme Court also affirmed the CAFC in part by agreeing that synthetically created composite DNA (cDNA) is patent eligible because it is not naturally occurring. Myriad’s genetic screening patents are directed … Continued

Medical Device Tax Appears Likely To Go Into Effect

A new 2.3 percent tax on medical devices is scheduled to go into effect after December 31. Attempts by the medical device industry to repeal or delay implementation of the new tax have thus far been unsuccessful. The medical device tax is one of the tax provisions in the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. The tax will be paid by manufacturers and importers of medical devices, according to the Internal Revenue Service.  In very general terms, a taxable … Continued

Federal Circuit Rules for Myriad:  Isolated Human Genes Are Patentable

Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued its highly anticipated opinion in the Myriad Genetics case. The court reaffirmed its ruling last year that isolated human genes are eligible for patent protection, a victory for biotechnology companies and their investors. In a 2 to 1 split decision, the court held that Myriad’s genetic screening patents, directed to two genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 that can indicate whether a woman has an increased risk of developing … Continued

Silicon Valley Chosen as a Location for a New U.S. Patent Office

Today the Commerce Department announced that the United State Patent and Trademark Office will be opening three new satellite offices, to be located in or around San Jose, Denver and Dallas-Fort Worth.  The main Patent and Trademark Office will remain in Alexandria, Virginia, inside the Washington DC Beltway. The USPTO’s first satellite office, approved two years ago and located in Detroit, will open July 13.  The three newly announced satellite offices are expected to open in early 2013, according to … Continued

Mayo v. Prometheus

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held today in Mayo v. Prometheus that the personalized medicine dosing process claimed in Prometheus’ patents effectively describes a law of nature, and is therefore not patentable subject matter.  Today’s opinion invalidates the two Prometheus patents at issue, and reverses the finding of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which in turn had reversed the District Court’s initial decision that the two patents were invalid for claiming a law of nature. Following the … Continued

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