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The Patent Chronicle

in Sci-IP by

Your weekly dose from the world of patents (April 4th, 2017). 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

EPO to give CRISPR rights to UCB

Decision: European Patent Office (EPO) indicated its intention to give a broad CRISPR patent to UCB.

Reason: EPO is convinced that UCB’s CRISPR application has been enabled for BOTH prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

Impact: UCB gains upper hand in Europe in the CRISPR battle. Broad can still file an opposition to the EPO decision. UCB could end up amending claims affecting the scope of the patent. This is more or less going to end up as in USPTO with UCB getting a broader patent and folks wanting to use CRISPR in Europe and US having to license from both, IF they use it in eukaryotes.

Read more here

 Troll paradise Marshall, Texas could get hit

Decision: Pending

Reason: Opposing precedents as to where a patent owner can initiate proceedings for infringement- one set says place of incorporation, the other says place of operations (however minimal it is). Patent owners and trolls have been flooding to Marshall, Texas (a town with 25,000 population) and case numbers in the town are around 34% of those filed nationwide.

Impact: Supreme court decision will direct which precedent is the law of the land. Trolls could lose on their strategy litigate in “friendly” jurisdictions.

Read more here

NIH funding cuts will impact patents and innovation

Decision: The Trump administration has proposed the following cuts to NIH budget- 1.6 billion USD for 2017 and 6 billion USD for 2018.

Reason: Divert funds to increased defense spending.

Impact: Study led by a Harvard Business School entrepreneurship professor shows that both basic and applied research contribute to commercial innovation. In one author’s own words “neither the progress of life sciences research nor its contribution to the economy is neat or easy to quantify”. “The sausage factory doesn’t look up-close very appetizing,”. “But in the sweep of history, this system delivers things.” 10 % of NIH grants resulted directly in a patent and 30% in articles were subsequently cited by patents. Innovation will take a hit as a result of the funding cut’s impact on both basic and applied research.

Read more in here and here

BMS Dasatinib patent dismissed for no utility

Decision: Federal court finds ability to inhibit an enzyme cannot to be extended to a utility to cure cancer without sufficient proof. It is an overarching promise and lacks utility.

Reason: Apotex wanted to sell Apo-dasatinib in Canada and was opposed by BMS. Apotex alleged inutility, obviousness and double patenting.

Impact: Apotex can sell its drug in Canada. Sets a precedent for questioning a patent’s utility and enablement without direct proof.

Read more here

Small Business Innovation Protection Act

Decision: U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Jim Risch (R-ID) have reintroduced the bill aimed to protect the IP of small businesses by improving education on patents prosecution and beyond.

Reason: Lack of awareness of international patent protection that affects small businesses ability to protect their inventions outside US, especially China and other major international markets.
Impact: More in person and online training and outreach programs from Small Business Administration and USPTO through Small Business Development Centers.

Read more here


Biogen wins MS drug Tecfidera dispute

Decision: USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled that Forward Pharma failed to prove Biogen had infringed on its patent.

Reason: Insufficient scientific description for proving infringement.

Impact: Biogen does not have to pay royalty to Forward Pharma with this ruling. However, an appeal of PTAB decision by Forward Pharma in a court could reverse the fortunes. Biogen had earlier licensed the use of dimethyl fumerate (active ingredient of the drug) from Forward Pharma making this a self-inflicted wound in a court battle.

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

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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 : 13th to 18th March, 2017

in ClubSciWri by
  • csg-image.jpg?fit=2048%2C1449

As Holi was celebrated world-over with a plethora of colours, we at CSG launched various initiatives and displayed our unity within the community.

Connecting Scientists beyond Campuses

CSG created history as our ‘Post-doc Skype’ sessions went live with Mayur Vadhvani as our first guest speaker. The session was very well received and attended by IISCians.

CSG Baltimore Meet up

The CSG Baltimore meet up thanks Smita Mehta for sharing her experience and giving insights into the process of transitioning to industry.

CREATE volunteers

CSG calls volunteer editors who are good with CVs and cover letters to enrol in the CREATE initiative. This initiative is to create a platform for PhDs to tweak their CVs and cover letter, to improve out chances of getting hired.

A stitch in time saves ….

While low funding and redundancy have been prevalent in the job market more now than before, we highly recommend fellow scientists to keep themselves aware of the active funding their PI has to make their move in good time. While scientist in USA can use web portals like NIH RePORTER and Grantome for USA, there is DFG for Germany and NWO for Netherlands. These postals are also a resource of funding available while looking out for post-doc opportunities in these countries. 

Alpha chain of clusterin burns more calories

Scientists at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, found that alpha chain of the clusterin protein helps weight controls by preventing fat accumulation through metabolism.

Home away from home ..

The Indian government invites students abroad to register with the Ministry of External Affairs web portal. The portal vouches to help you solve issues in the foreign land through the Indian Embassy.



Art meets Science

Art meets Science as Nature publishes the 3D structure of intact mammalian genomes in individual cells while Robert Lang a physicist created magic with origami that have applications back in engineering. For our future geeky artistes , Art of Science Contest provides an opportunity to send in your most creative scientific art to win an Amazon voucher worth $500.

Keeping stress under control..

While the Pomodoro timer is a highly recommended technique to manage tasks and improve productivity, fellow CSGian recommend Bollywood Zumba to tackle the sedentary lab lifestyle. After all who says scientists don’t have fun 😉

Resume Roadmap

Recruiters at Johnson and Johnson put together a list of CV ‘dos and donts’ that stand out among the numerous applicants. While communication without jargon is a key skill for job seekers, a fellow CSGian explains the importance of seeking help at the right time and networking to address a crisis with her PI. For those who like to work with people, Cheeky Scientist collates a list of career options after PhD.


Various opportunities for fellowships, short-term internships and contests to lookout for this week are

Newton International Post-doctoral Fellowship

Travel grants for life scientists

Short term European research fellowships

Science and SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists


Transitioning into Science Policy: In conversation with Zane Martin, Ph.D.

in Face à Face/Poli-Scie by

The process of bringing bench side discoveries to bedside not only involves the efforts of scientists and doctors, but also people who serve as a bridge among the researchers, policymakers, and the public at large. These individuals work in areas involving the policies that apply science for the benefit of society in a profession that is colloquially termed ‘Science Policy’. The science policy umbrella is diverse, ranging from scientists working in federal agencies, serving as Congressional staff, or providing science policy guidance for non-profits, academia, or industry. Duties include but aren’t limited to grant management, regulatory oversight, and science communication with policymakers and the public with the goal of progressing science. Every country that pursues scientific research with the aim of bringing the discoveries to the society has people involved in this profession. Although different governments work different, interacting with a science policy professional can always provide an idea of an alternative career for Ph.D. graduates.

Becoming a policy maker or an implementer by itself involves a lot of training (apart from bench work) and persistence. Although the internet provides a lot of resources, the best information can be obtained during a personal interaction with a professional working in this area. Serendipity created an opportunity for me to interview Dr. Zane Martin who gladly obliged to talk about her role in Science Policy and how her efforts during her graduate studies landed her some prestigious science policy fellowships.

SC: Could you tell us about your educational background?

ZM: I attended graduate school at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where I investigated drug discovery techniques for neurodegenerative diseases. While completing my Masters’ thesis in Pharmacology, I synthesized and screened a library of compounds to evaluate their prophylactic/therapeutic efficacy against amyloid-beta aggregation, one of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Thereafter, I completed my Ph.D. dissertation in Neuroscience, investigating another therapeutic strategy based on inhibiting a cellular signalling event involved in synaptic plasticity implicated in Parkinson’s disease. Following my Ph.D., I completed a postdoctoral position at the NYS Institute for Basic Research, where I investigated potential therapeutics against tau hyperphosphorylation, another hallmark of Alzheimer’s. During my postdoc, I was awarded the Jeanne B. Kempner Postdoctoral Scholar fellowship to fund my work. Collectively from these studies, I authored several peer-reviewed publications and won travel awards to several conferences to present my work.

SC: What is your current position and what does a normal day at work look like?

ZM: I am currently completing an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Along with the training opportunities that I avail as a recipient of this fellowship, I work at the National Institute on Aging in the Division of Neuroscience. I am involved with the implementation of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act. I help regulate funding through both grant management and by developing resources to help progress science. Examples of resources at the NIH typically involve databases like PubMed,, and GenBank. The database I am working on is based on Alzheimer’s preclinical studies with the aim of improving science rigor to increase success in clinical trials.

SC: What motivated you to transition from laboratory science into science policy?

ZM: As an AD researcher, I was aware of the potential healthcare havoc we will experience if no treatment strategy for AD is discovered as demographic shifts increase the percentage of the population over age 65. Because of this, I developed a deep respect for the policies that help with the progression of biomedicine for the betterment of our society. The NIH is a global pillar for the worldwide coordination of scientific and healthcare related collaborations to address all global health needs. By including legislation, synergies become established to help pinpoint critical global health challenges, such as finding better treatments for diseases like AD.

SC: What were your approaches to pursue science policy? Did you exploit other resources during your Ph.D. or postdoc tenure to gain skills pertaining to your goals?

ZM: I first got involved during graduate school by participating in advocacy networks in different scientific societies. I attended advocacy meetings and volunteered to help with advocacy events. To increase experience in leadership positions, I was the president of my local Association for Women in Science (AWIS) chapter during my last two years in graduate school, where I organized several local functions and chapter meetings.

During my postdoc, I created a local science advocacy group with the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). My group met with our Senator’s staff to campaign for increased biomedical funding. I also volunteered as an Alzheimer’s Congressional Team Member for the Alzheimer’s Association, where I wrote OpEds for our local paper and met with policymakers to discuss the importance of biomedical funding for Alzheimer’s research.

From volunteering at societies, I found an opportunity to become a science policy intern at the American Brain Coalition (ABC). For this internship, I participated in meetings with the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus to analyse the impact and effectiveness of the BRAIN Initiative. I wrote reports from these meetings for the ABC members, and I provided other material for the ABC website, such as creating a Capitol Hill Toolkit.

I also started a blog to practice writing for different audiences. I wrote about current policy events, such as appropriations proceedings involving biomedical funding, and legislations dealing with climate change and energy, evolution and schools, and vaccination enforcement. This blog led to a consultation gig with AAAS, where I submitted blogs about science policy topics for their MemberCenter website.

I recently completed a Mirzayan Science Policy Fellowship at the National Academy of Sciences working in the Board on Life Sciences, Division on Earth and Life Studies. I helped manage projects by organizing expert speakers, panelists and reviewers, selecting the literature to guide the attendees, participating in workshops and webinars, and co-authoring the workshop summaries.

SC: Could you share your thoughts on how can a person who has no experience in science policy transition into such a role?

ZM: First and foremost, complete a Ph.D. program. Ph.D. graduates have a greater advantage because they understand science, and they know how to think critically. Another important suggestion is to network. Volunteer for science societies and nonprofits, and ask for informational interviews from people that interest you. Don’t be shy! You’ll be amazed at how receptive people really are when you reach out. And most importantly: WRITE. Write for multiple audiences. Along with scientific manuscripts, write Letters to the Editor or OpEds for your local paper, blog, submit articles to societies and nonprofits. Finally, don’t get discouraged with rejection. The great thing about science policy is that every person takes a different path to get there. So, if one path doesn’t work, try another.

SC: What are the long-term satisfactions associated with a career in this field?

ZM: I feel more purposeful in this career trajectory. Being a bench scientist is also admirable, but working in science policy is more “big picture” with work potential having a greater impact. Overall, working for the government is highly rewarding because I am serving the society.

About Zane:

I am an AAAS S&T Policy Fellow at the National Institute on Aging – National Institutes of Health, where I help with the implementation of the National Alzheimer’s Plan. I have a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and M.S. in Pharmacology from the University of Texas Medical Branch, and received postdoctoral training at the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities. My research career focused on drug discovery strategies to combat Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Follow her on Twitter @ZaneMartinPhD.

About Sayantan:

I’m an IRTA postdoctoral visiting fellow at the National Institute on Aging – National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, USA. Apart from science, I invest my time in networking, writing, organizing events, and consolidating efforts to build a platform that brings together scientists and industry professionals to help spread the perception of alternate careers for life science graduates. Follow me on Twitter @ch_sayantan


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