Current Law Journal Content
Washington & Lee Law School
Current Law Journal Content
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Bio-Science Law Review
Volume 9, Issue 3, 2006/2007
THE ROLE OF COMPETITION IN BIO-TECHNOLOGICAL PATENTING AND INNOVATION
Intellectual property protection is conventionally explained as an essential prerequisite for industrial innovation and economic development. As this article explains, particularly in the area of biotechnological patenting. Intellectual property protection is adopted as a strategy not so much to protect innovations but as a means of securing bargaining chips for access to others' proprietary technologies. It traces the consequential development of cross-licensing, patent thickets and patent pools, which have more to do with strategies of competition than the protection of innovation. In fact there is a considerable body of research, commencing with Heller and Eisenberg's 1998 study on the "anticommons in biomedical research" which suggests that these developments may actually be obstacles to innovation. The article concludes with on examination of the consequential scrutiny of the competition authorities of these developments.
EMERGING INFRINGEMENT IN GENE SILENCING PATENTS
Gene silencing technologies comprised of antisense RNA, RNA interference and micro RNA have emerged as a promising tool to combat diseases. Progress in this area is very fast and competitive; in this race, several companies ranging from start-up to well established pharmaceutical firms are participating and claiming the lead based on their intellectual property estate. Infringement disputes are expected as soon as the final product reaches the market. A clear understanding at the level of molecular pathway and established claims in this area is needed in order to resolve infringement issues and this article reviews the current state of play.
EXTENSION DENIED: GILEAD SCIENCES' SPC APPLICATION FOR COMBINATION ANTIRETROVIRALS
JONATHAN BALL AND CAMILLA SELL
The UK intellectual Property Office has recently refused Gilead Sciences, Inc's SPC application for a combination antiretroviral product. This article explores the decision in detail. It highlights the difficulties that pharmaceutical patentees face when seeking SPC extension to patent term for valuable combination products, where such applications are based upon basic composition-of-matter patents that give no or insufficient disclosure of the combination itself.
PATENT ENTITLEMENT, YEDA RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT v RHȎNE-POULΕΝC RORER
LUKE KEMPTON AND JANINE HARBORNE
Patent entitlement cases are on the rise. The commercial value of patents has never been so widely recognised in the biotech community and entitlement proceedings can be bitterly contested. Case law on entitlement to patents in the United Kingdom has recently undergone a radical change. Until 2007, in order for party A to prove his entitlement to a patent which has been granted to party B, party A had to prove not only that he was entitled to apply for the patent but also that there was some other rule of law such as breach of contract or confidence which could be invoked to establish his entitlement. The House of Lords has finally removed this additional requirement in its judgment of the case of Yeda Research and Development Company Limited v Rhône-Poulenc Rorer International Holdings Inc and others ('the Yeda case').
FIGHTING INFRINGEMENT: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ENFORCEMENT DIRECTIVE IN FRENCH LEGISLATION
European Directive 2004/48 known as "the Enforcement Directive" has been implemented in France in October 2007. On the on hand this Directive will generalise in Europe a specific French procedure to collect evidence, the infringement seizure procedure ('Saisie-contrefaçon'). This confirms the fact that it is a highly effective procedure, very useful to fight infringers. On the second hand implementation of the Directive has introduced in French law the right of information for the Judge, and the acknowledgement of provisional, precautionary and corrective measures. Thus IP right owner will now find in France a place to fight infringers in a most effective way thanks to the implementation of the Enforcement Directive.
GERMANY - Patents - second medical use claims post Calvediol II - NETHERLANDS - Patents - Obviousness Ratiopharm/Merck - SOUTH AFRICA - Bio-prospecting within South Africa: Indigenous biological resources and traditional knowledge - UNITED KINGDOM - News - Company execution clauses - 6 April 2008 changes - Genomic Medicine - Patents - the Patent Prosecution Highway - UNITED STATES - Patents - Obviousness - Ex parte Kubin - Patents - Infringement - PharmaStem Therapeutics, Inc v ViaCell, Inc - EUROPE - European Group on Ethics in Science - opinion on cloned food
THE INTERFACE BETWEEN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND COMPETITION POLICY, STEVEN ANDERMAN (ED)