August 29, 2017: The Patent Chronicle is your go to destination for a capsule dose on the hottest happenings in the patent world. It is led by Syam Anand, who has been at the core of CSG’s development and an entrepreneur himself. In this section, Syam has clinically dissected out every news on the decision, the reason and the impact to help you comprehend the full story in a nutshell. He is also in the process of building his scicomm team for this section. If you would like to come aboard, mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s crank-up the patent engine for the latest happenings…
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION SCORES WIN TO STOP AN INVENTION-PROMOTION SCAM
Decision: The US district court of Florida granted an injunction sought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that extended a freeze on the assents of World Patent Marketing Inc. (WPM).
Reason: FTC had stepped in to stop WPM from a scam that cheated inventors of around 26 million USD. WPM had misrepresented facts to mislead customers with false success stories and promises to patent and market inventions. Further, they threatened consumers with criminal prosecution if they complained about their dissatisfaction with WPM’s services.
Impact: In March 2017, FTC had scored a win to freeze WPM’s assets. With the current win, the freeze has been extended. It takes FTC one step closer to return the money from WPM to its dissatisfied customers. WPM is one of the several companies that operate by promising patenting and marketing of inventions by requesting inventors to submit regular payments. News such as this, will not only put an end to this exploitation by WPM, but also open the eyes of inventors and innovators, when they seek such services.
To know the details of the scam click here
FTC Obtains Court Order Halting World Patent Marketing Invention Promotion Scheme | Federal Trade Commission https://t.co/Hhktkenl3d
— Ramon Romero, My CPA (@ramonmyCPA) August 24, 2017
PFIZER’S PNEUMONIA VACCINE INDIA PATENT SHOWS TWO SIDES OF A BAD COIN
Decision: Indian Patent Office granted a patent to Pfizer’s pneumonia vaccine Prevenar 13 that is valid till 2026.
Background: Prevenar 13, as the name indicates is effective against 13 pneumococcal strains. Pneumococcus, the responsible bug, has demonstrated the ability to evolve and cause infections in spite of widespread use of vaccines against the bug. This had pushed vaccine developers to keep adding more and more antigens to the vaccines in their efforts to obtain effective herd immunity. However, it appears that vaccination against Pneumococcal pneumonia is a loosing battle due to the strain variability of the bug. WHO had advised antibiotic treatment of Pneumococcal pneumonia as a more economically viable option since the bugs are largely sensitive to antibiotics.
Impact: The debate in India about the impact of the vaccine patent is on multiple fronts. First, there is the accessibility issue, as India is not eligible for GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) because its per capita GDP exceeds the 1500$ cut off. This makes the vaccine expensive for India. Second, there is the issue of wrong priority if the Indian administration goes ahead with its intention to pursue procurement and distribution of the vaccine through its government medical centers instead of following WHO’s recommendation. Third, there is a local manufacturing issue, as India has a vibrant Pharmaceutical manufacturing industry that thrives on producing cheaper drugs and vaccines that puts them in direct competition with many multinational pharmaceutical giants. Fourth, there is fear among aid groups that the patent will act as a block for cheaper solutions although one wonders why they are not focusing more on the cheaper alternatives to vaccines that already exist for Pneumococcal pneumonia.
To know about antibiotics vs pneumonia vaccine click here
Pfizer nabs patent in 🇮🇳 India covering pneumonia vaccine Prevenar 13 https://t.co/rjnESs1QUf INVESTINGcom
— FinanzLinksMarkets (@FinanzLinksUS) August 22, 2017
REGENERON PATENT INVALIDATED FOR INEQUITABLE CONDUCT
Decision: A Federal Circuit court decided that references withheld by Regeneron when filing the patent was “but-for” material, not cumulative and with the specific intent to deceive the PTO.
Background: Regeneron had sued Merus for infringement on a patent U.S. Patent No. 8,502,018. Merus appealed that the patent is unenforceable because of inequitable conduct that happened during the prosecution of the patent before USPTO. Merus alleged that Regeneron’s attorney withheld four references that they had an obligation to disclose to the PTO when they submitted the application for examination. USPTO rules state that representatives (in this case attorneys) have a duty to disclose all material known to them that are material to patentability of the invention covered in an application. Failure to do so is considered inequitable conduct.
Impact: The decision makes the Regeneron patent unenforceable. In inequitable conduct, a specific intent to deceive is a difficult thing to prove in the absence of direct evidence showing such intent. However, it appears that in this case the Court decided that there was specific intent based on a “pattern of misconduct” during litigation. Normally, such intent is sought among actions that occurred during prosecution of the application- the time during which attorneys submit documents to the PTO. It is likely that failure to provide documents and follow the directives of the court during litigation may soon be construed as proof for specific intent to deceive in other cases as well.
— Intestinal Cell News (@Intestinal_Cell) July 31, 2017
About the author:
Authored by Dr Syam Anand, PhD (Indian Institute of Science, IISc; Post-Doctoral research, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Faculty, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Founder and US Patent Agent, Mainline Intellectual Property LLC, Ardmore, Philadelphia USA). Syam has over 20 years experience in diverse areas of Science with domain knowledge in Life Sciences and Intellectual Property. Dr. Anand is also an inventor and budding entrepreneur. A rationalist, Dr. Anand enjoys science at all levels and advocates the use of scientific methods for answering all questions and solving all problems and make common people curious and interested in understanding their worlds.
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