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The Patent Chronicle

in Sci-IP by

(April 11th, 2017) Your weekly dose from the world of patents. The Patent Chronicle is led by Syam Anand, who has been at the core of CSG’s development and an entrepreneur himself. This section is your go to destination every week for a capsule dose on the hottest happenings in the patent world. Syam has clinically dissected out every news on the decision, the background and the impact. He is also in the process of building his scicomm team for this section. If you would like to come aboard, mail him at

Organizations request to free USPTO of Federal hiring freeze

Decision: Around twenty organizations directly requested the president to exempt USPTO from the federal hiring freeze. The letter ended by reminding him of the “America first” slogan.

Reason: The 45th president and his administration had instituted a federal hiring freeze that prevents USPTO also from filling several hundred vacancies including support staff. This is in spite of the fact that the government continues to divert hundreds of millions of dollars from fees earned by USPTO. Many including the signatories of the letter consider this a tax on innovation as their fees are diverted to general government funding. The US is now ranked #10 along with Hungary in patent system strength.

Impact: Left unaddressed, the challenges faced by US inventors in the domestic and more importantly in the international arena, will increase. Inadequate staffing will cause further backlog on patent prosecution and post-grant procedures. It will directly affect US innovation.

Read more here

Read the letter here

UK court steps in to guide fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND)

Decision: UK High Court ruled that it would decide how much should be paid to use an essential patented technology (in this case mobile phone technology).

Reason: The FRAND commitment serves to harmonize the private interests of patent holders and the public interests of standard-setting organizations while attempting to meet industry standards. Those who own patents and those who want to use the patented technology interpret FRAND differently. Often times licensing prices choke off future development of the technology and its use.

Impact: The British High Court had not intervened to decide licensing prices before. Could end up becoming a trendsetter in UK. Licensing royalties that appear exorbitant may start getting litigated in UK courts. Technology adoption, research and development could benefit from favorable outcomes on this and future FRAND rulings. FRAND (RAND in the US) is an outlier like compulsory licensing as far as licensing practices go.

Read more here

RNA-based ProQR Cystic Fibrosis drug gets EU, US patents

Decision: ProQR therapeutics gets EU and US patents on Fast Track for restoring dysfunctional CFTR using RNA oligonucleotides.

Reason: The application enjoyed the Orphan drug designation in both Europe and the US.

Impact: The methods of treatment using the oligos are in clinical trials. If successful, patients will be able to self-administer the oligos with a nebulizer. Earlier trials have successfully restored CFTR function in patients containing two deletions in CFTR.

Read more here

20% workforce hit in Acorda as MS patents lose protection

Decision: Delaware court invalidated 4 (out of 5) patents covering Acorda’s MS drug Ampyra.

Reason: The patents were found to be obvious. The active ingredient in Ampyra is an old organic compound, 4-Aminopyridine that had limited patent protection. It appears that Acorda management were taking undue risks knowing that the protection was weak and very likely to be contested.

Impact: Restructuring of Acorda as it axes the workforce on MS and turns its focus to Parkinson’s disease where it holds IP and encouraging clinical trial data.

Read more here and here


PAX, a new alliance to protect Android systems from trolls

Decision: Google, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, HTC, Foxconn Technology Group, Coolpad, BQ, HMD Global, and Allview forms the Android-networked cross-license abbreviated “PAX”.

Reason: Open-source software faces legal challenges from trolls and real patent owners. There have been attempts to forms alliances in the hopes of putting resources together to meet these challenges.

Impact: The alliance is free and open to join. Thus, the alliance’s success will depend on who all joins. PAX follows similar efforts such as Open Innovation Network (OIN) that was formed to protect Linux from legal challenges. OIN was successful. PAX could translate into lower costs for Android users. PAX owns more than 230,000 global patents.

Read more here

LOT, a mutual defense alliance against PAEs grows in membership

Decision: Cisco, Slack, Daimler and Udemy joins LOT (License on Transfer)

Reason: Uptick in Patent Assertion Entity (PAE; Troll) activity and lack of attention from Washington D. C. According to LOT, there is a 500% uptick in troll activity in the last 10 years.

Impact: Initiated by Google in 2014, with mostly tech companies, LOT is now more diverse with members such as GM, Honda and JP Morgan. It works on a simple principle- if any member were to sell a patent to a troll, they cannot use the same against another member in LOT. According to LOT 80, billion dollars (80,000,000,000 $) are lost in needless patent troll litigation. Alliances such as OIN, PAX and LOT will reduce risk, and resources spend on troll-initiated litigations. LOT has 600,000 plus patents in their shelf.

Read more here

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.

Featured Image source: Pixabay

Blog design: Abhinav Dey

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This work by ClubSciWri is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The week that it was-6th to 12th March, 2017

in ClubSciWri by

Women’s day, gender equity, breaking stereotypes and barriers, or at least trying to – we have come a long way and still a long way to go in making the world an equally good place for everyone. But at least people are beginning to talk about tackling the issue everywhere, from academia to corporate.

As Tuktuki Mondal inspires us all with her humble story from being a rag-picker to a research assistant, Indian parliament passed the bill increasing maternity leave to 26 weeks, opportunities open up for women scientists to network, aspire and achieve, and McKinsey opens up applications for Next Generation Women’s Leaders, 2017 event.

But while the world is trying to become a better place, challenges that concern our everyday life are still plenty. Macri’s government in Argentina cuts funds in science and technology by 30%, one more all across the globe following the trend. Will this create more cases of Dr. Carlo Croce?

Google and Rosa Luxembourg Foundation on the other hand, declare PhD scholarships to students enrolled in Indian and German universities, respectively while the International Max Planck Research Schools of Münster and Göttingen open applications for those interested in Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences and Genome Sciences, respectively.

Life in science is getting easier with online communication for courses, talks and podcasts-

Check out the Data Science course on Springboard, stay abreast with cutting edge research with Nature’s webcasts and network via CSG talks.

Take a look at the Science and Engineering job market of this decade, 50 best startups worldwide and the trends in pharma industry this year. And also learn how to take your ideas from lab to market with I-Corps.

And those academically oriented, here are your options-

Though firms might start using AI to recruit people sometime soon, here is a guide for you to follow when dealing with its human counterpart. Who are these recruiters, and how do they operate? Alert for Life and medical scientists: you can meet some of them at events organized by Northwest Biotech on March 22 and Bio Talent connect on June 22, 2017.

Be smart and do not repeat your mistakes. Coelho says, if you repeat a mistake, then it is a decision.

If you are still unclear of how to have an effective LinkedIn profile, or write the perfect resume, or HR interviews scare you, do not fret.

Help is right at the tip of your finger.

About the author:

Somdatta Karak works with Club SciWri as a project co ordinator and Corporate Liaison. She is a doctorate in neuroscience from Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany and has been a Teach for India fellow (2014-16). She loves putting her analytical skills to build newer and more sustainable solutions, enjoys traveling and communicating and takes every opportunity to expand her horizon.

You can reach her here.









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