May 31, 2006

Trial began last week regarding a copyright dispute filed by the group I.O.F. against two well-known rappers, Ludacris and Kanye West. I.O.F. claims that some of the lyrics of their 2001 song “Straight Like That” were used in Ludacris’s 2003 song “Stand Up.” The specific lyric at interest is the phrase “just like that,” which is repeated several times in “Stand Up,” while I.O.F. claims that its song repeats “straight like that” several times in a similar fashion. I.O.F. contends that it had distributed its song to several record companies back in 2001, and that one of Ludacris’s record companies contacted the producer of “Straight Like That.” Ludacris contends that he never received a copy of the song, never heard the song prior to trial, and never even heard the phrase “straight like that” before I.O.F. filed suit. “Stand Up” was one of Ludacris’s biggest hits, and according to Billboard.com, the album “Chicken-N-Beer,” including “Stand Up,” sold over 500,000 copies. If the jury in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan decides that the lyrics were indeed used without permission, a second phase of the trial would assess damages for I.O.F.

ABC News Article: LINK
E! Online News Article: LINK

May 30, 2006

On July 3rd, a new patent prosecution “fast-track” program by the USPTO and the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) is set to run its initial one year period. This program, called the Patent Prosecution Highway, will allow both patent offices essentially work together on corresponding patent, including the sharing of search information and related work previously performed by one of the two patent offices. According to the USPTO, “under the Patent Prosecution Highway, an applicant receiving a ruling from either the JPO or the USPTO that at least one claim in an application is patentable may request that the other office fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications.” The initial one year trial period will determine whether or not the program actually improves efficiency, generates sufficient interest, etc., and may be extended or ended early depending on its progress. According to Makoto Nakajima, the Commissioner of the JPO, “The Patent Prosecution Highway is a significant first step in the cooperative efforts to support U.S. and Japanese industries for their global patent-obtaining activities.”

USPTO News Release: LINK
Patent Prosecution Highway Requirements: LINK
Japan Patent Office Website: LINK

May 26, 2006

Earlier this week, Inhalation, Inc. received a U.S. patent regarding several methods to prevent pathogenic infections within the human respiratory system. U.S. Patent No. 7,048,953 ("Methods and Apparatus to Prevent, Treat, and Cure Infections of the Human Respiratory System by Pathogens Causing Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)"), issued on May 23rd, claims a “method to reduce risks of infection of the human respiratory system by respiratory pathogens in an enclosed public area” by, thirty minutes before entering a public area, inhaling “concentrated vapors from an essential oil that possess anti-pathogenic properties.” The method also comprises the step of, after entering a public area, “periodically inhaling a concentrated vapors from said essential oil” every thirty minutes to two hours,” and further comprising the use of one or more of the following essential oils: Eucalyptus globulus, Melaleuca alternifolia, Eucalyptus citriodora, and Eucalyptus radiata.” The inhalation of eucalyptus oil (or one of its constituents) claims to reduce the risk of infection from the influenza virus (causing the “flu”), the rhinovirus (causing a cold), and any respiratory pathogens causing SARS. According to the patent, “[f]ollowing the inhalation of the vapors, a thin anti-pathogenic layer is formed in the respiratory system that protects against infection for a certain duration of time following inhalation.” This patent relates to a series of prior patent applications, including six provisional applications, three continuation-in-part applications (including one issued as U.S. Patent No. 6,447,816, entitled “Methods and apparatus to prevent colds, flus, and infections of the human respiratory system”), and one U.S. disclosure document.

U.S. Patent No. 7,048,953: LINK
U.S. Patent No. 6,447,816: LINK
Genetic Engineering News Article: LINK
Inhalation, Inc. Website: LINK

May 25, 2006

The USPTO has announced a program to collect current e-mail addresses for all registered patent attorneys and patent agents, with a goal of allowing the USPTO to better communicate with those registered before it. The e-mail addresses will be collected on the roster database but will not be available online. In addition, the USPTO is working to implement 37 CFR § 11.11, requiring each patent attorney and patent agent to provide one to three current e-mail addresses to the USPTO. A two-step process has been initiated, the first step utilizing an e-mail address has been set up (below) where each practitioner can provide his or her information in plain text as shown in the following example:

Smith, John Middle
12,345
email1@uspto.gov; email2@uspto.gov; email3@uspto.gov

Please note that your e-mail must originate from one of the three e-mail addresses you provide.

The second step is for each patent attorney and patent agent to send a confirmation letter to Mail Stop OED, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, Virginia, 22313-1450, including a statement including the aforementioned information, and confirming (with signature) that the e-mail addresses are used by that practitioner.

USPTO E-mail Program Announcement: LINK
Applicable USPTO E-mail Address: E-MAIL
Patent Attorney/Agent Roster: LINK

May 24, 2006

Last Tuesday, a group of six inventors, including four current seniors at Westlake High School (Austin, Texas), obtained a patent on several gaming methods. U.S. Patent No. 7,044,469 ("Game involving multiple communication methods"), issued on May 16th, claims several methods of gaming that combine two games, Pictionary® and Charades. One claim is a method of game playing comprising “selecting from a deck a card having displayed thereon a word, phrase, or image to be seen by a first player and not by a second player,” the activation of a timer, and a first player attempting “to communicate the word, phrase or image to a second player by acting” where the second player tries to understand the word pr phrase. The second player, however, in attempt to convey his or her understanding of the word or phrase, will need to draw what is believed to be the word, phrase, or image in question. The particular game stops when the second player successfully conveys the word, phrase, or image at issue within the time period set by the timer. The game allows people who like to draw (required for traditional Pictionary®) to play with people who like to act (traditional charades), while allowing several people to play at once in a competitive scored atmosphere.

U.S. Patent No. 7,044,469: LINK
News 8 Austin Article: LINK
Westlake High School Webpage: LINK

May 23, 2006

Earlier this month, FotoNation Ireland Ltd received a U.S. patent regarding several methods and apparatuses which, according to the patent, “eliminat[es] red-eye phenomenon within a miniature digital camera having a flash without the distraction of a pre-flash.” U.S. Patent No. 7,042,505 ("Red-eye filter method and apparatus"), issued on May 9th, claims a “digital apparatus having no photographic film, comprising: (a) a source of light for providing illumination during image acquisition; (b) a digital image detector for acquiring an image; and (c) a red-eye filter for modifying pixels within the image indicative of a red-eye phenomenon.” A camera of the invention includes an exposure control that “initiates and controls the digital photographic process” in response to user input, including a light sensor that determines if the level of ambient light requires a flash to be used. In addition, a focusing means determines distance of the subject and focuses the image on an image capture means that “digitally records the image in color.” If the camera determines that a flash should be used, the exposure control means causes a flash to be generated “in substantial coincidence with the recording of the image” by means of capturing the image. This technology, according to the patent, eliminates the red-eye phenomenon caused by both digital and film cameras that do not utilize a “pre-flash.”

U.S. Patent No. 7,042,505: LINK
Cameratown.com News Article: LINK
FotoNation’s Website: LINK

May 22, 2006

In the May 16, 2006 Federal Register, the USPTO announced that it has opened a window for comment regarding its published patent search templates. In the USPTO’s Manual of Classification, several search templates may be found, defining “the search field and resource areas of general subject matter, classes/subclasses, patent documents (both domestic and foreign) and NPL [non-patent literature] that an examiner should consider each time a patent application is examined in a particular classification.” MPEP § 904.02 includes the current search requirements for a patent examiner, including the examiner’s required consideration of domestic patent documents, foreign patent documents, and NPL. According to the Federal Register, “[t]hese search templates are based upon input from patent examiners and other searchers at the USPTO and represent an attempt to capture their institutional knowledge of what are the most relevant prior art searches for determining the patentability of subject matter in the area of technology.” No specific ending period for comment was announced, but the comments will be made available to the public.

Federal Register Excerpt (May 16, 2006): LINK
USPTO Patent Search Templates Website: LINK
MPEP § 904.02: LINK
Submit Patent Search Templates Comments HERE

May 19, 2006

By Brad Stohry

The Swedish Supreme Court recently refused to hear an appeal requested by Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar regarding a lower court’s ruling that granted Anheuser-Busch exclusive trademark rights in the BUDWEISER mark in Sweden. The lower court ordered the Czech beer maker to stop using "Budweiser Budvar" on its labels and advertising. The Swedish decision is simply the latest battle in the BUDWEISER turf war between Anheuser-Busch and Budejovicky Budvar. These two companies have been fighting over the rights to the BUDWEISER mark for over a century. Anheuser-Busch adopted the BUDWEISER mark in 1876. Budejovicky Budvar was founded in 1895; however, it claims that BUDWEISER refers to beer brewed in the Budweis region of the Czech Republic, where beer has been brewed since at least the 14th Century. Anheuser-Busch has registered the BUDWEISER mark in most of the world and has blocked Budejovicky Budvar from using the BUDWEISER mark in many locales. However, the Czech brewer has won a few battles. For example, both companies are allowed to make use of the BUDWEISER mark in some countries and in others Budejovicky Budvar's product is the only beer that can be marketed as BUDWEISER.

History of the dispute: LINK
AP Article: LINK
Budejovicky Budvar’s Website: LINK
Anheuser-Busch's Website: LINK
U.S. Registration for Budweiser: LINK

Brad Stohry is an attorney with Ice Miller focusing his efforts on trademark prosecution and intellectual property licensing.

May 18, 2006

In two recent news releases, the USPTO has announced its most recent efforts to battle piracy, counterfeiting, and intellectual property theft. During a presentation for small business owners in Ohio on Monday, Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio and Stephen Pinkos, the U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for IP, discussed overseas piracy and counterfeiting, noting that worldwide IP theft “costs American companies $250 billion a year.” The USPTO also noted that small businesses “are particularly at risk because they often lack the knowledge and expertise to effectively combat it.” Mr. Pinkos also addressed third graders at an elementary school in New Albany, Ohio, about intellectual property, focusing on topics kids could relate to (like music and movies), providing examples like someone taking music from someone else and acting “like it was theirs” to profit from that IP theft. The USPTO has also set up a hotline (1-866-999-HALT) for its Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!) initiative, providing “businesses the information they need to leverage the resources of the U.S. Government to lock down and enforce their trademarks, patents and copyrights overseas, both in individual countries and in multiple countries through international treaties.”

USPTO Ohio Business Seminar News Release: LINK
USPTO Ohio School Presentation News Release: LINK
Stopfakes.gov Website (for Small Businesses): LINK
Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!) Initiative Website: LINK

May 17, 2006

Earlier this month, Sypherlink, Inc., received a U.S. patent on a database correlating apparatus, computer readable medium, and system regarding its database merging technology. U.S. Patent No. 7,039,650 ("System and method for making multiple databases appear as a single database"), issued on May 2nd, claims, in part, “A database correlating apparatus that is configured to merge distinct databases such that the databases appear to an accessor as a single database.” The apparatus as claimed comprises “a database pair generator that creates an initial database pair from a first non-merged database,” a “probe set generator that creates a database probe set from a second non-merged database,” a comparator communicating with the two generators (to determine correlations), and an identifier to identify correlations “between said database pair and said database probe set so that correlating data from said first database and said second database can be accessed if there is a correlation such that data from the first and second non-merged databases are accessibly simultaneously.” This patent states that it solves the then-existing need “to automate the development of field level relationships established between two or more databases, tables, and files, and with domain knowledge somewhat less than that of the level of expert” regarding database integration or conversion projects. According to Steven Adams, the Chief Software Architect of Sypherlink, "[t]his technology is the only solution available which automates the mapping process by analyzing data for metadata, structure and content.”

U.S. Patent No. 7,039,650: LINK
Sypherlink Press Release: LINK
Sypherlink’s Solutions Web Page: LINK

May 16, 2006

Earlier this month, the USPTO granted three specific trademarks to the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau Corporation in California, for the standard character mark “Surf City USA”. Huntington Beach filed for three trademarks in November, 2004, which were issued as Registration Nos. 3088921, 3088922, and 3091711 all in May, 2006. According to DailyBreeze.com, the town of Santa Cruz, California, disputed the filings by Huntington Beach, even proposing a “surfing contest” to determine which town should be known as Surf City USA. The three registrations allow Huntington Beach sole rights to use “Surf City USA” on handbags and sportsbags (IC 018), clothing and sportswear, including hats, t-shirts, shirts, jackets, sweaters, etc. (IC025), as well as for advertising, marketing, and promoting the economic development of Huntington Beach.

Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau Corporation Website (complete with “Surf City USA” audio): LINK
DailyBreeze.com News Article: LINK
Yahoo! News Article: LINK
Trademark Reg. No. 3088921: LINK
Trademark Reg. No. 3088922: LINK
Trademark Reg. No. 3091711: LINK

May 15, 2006

By Alex Forman

I recently came across the following quote by Dr. Andrew Grove, a founder of Intel Corporation:

"A fundamental rule in technology says that whatever can be done will be done."

To date, I have no reason to doubt his conclusion but only evidence to support it. For example, in the midst of recent news stories regarding high fuel prices and fears of a "bird flu" epidemic, the below technological developments were announced:

Aphios Corporation obtained U.S. Patent No. 7,033,813 on April 25, 2006 for, according to the inventors, "a method of manufacturing an inactivated virus vaccine product" that can be used to create more effective vaccines for AIDS, influenza and other infectious diseases.

Genetic Engineering News Article: LINK
U.S. Patent No. 7,033,813: LINK

AFS Trinity Power Corporation recently filed a patent application for a car, which, according to the inventors, is able to achieve gas mileage of 250 miles per gallon.

EV World Article: LINK
AFS Trinity Power Corporation Website: LINK

Such developments are just a few examples that demonstrate that "whatever can be done will be done."

Alex Forman is an attorney with Ice Miller focusing his efforts on patent prosecution and licensing of intellectual property.

May 12, 2006

By Alex Forman

In recent cases, the UK courts seem to have adopted an approach to patentability of computer programs and business methods that is similar to the approach of the European Patent Office. The adopted test of patentability for these types of inventions does not merely focus on whether the subject invention involves excluded subject matter but rather, focuses on determining if the claimed invention contributes anything to the art outside of the excluded subject matter. For the time being, this seems to put to rest any concern regarding a broad UK policy of simply excluding all inventions involving computer programs or business methods from patentability. As noted in one of the linked articles, the UK's approach is still liable to change.

Withers & Rogers Article: LINK
IP::JUR Article: LINK

Alex Forman is an attorney with Ice Miller focusing his efforts on patent prosecution and licensing of intellectual property.

May 11, 2006

Earlier this month, Microsoft Corporation received a U.S. patent regarding "a system and process for tracking users' usage of content in computer systems." U.S. Patent No. 7,039,699 ("Tracking usage behavior in computer systems"), issued on May 2nd, claims several methods, including methods "for selectively providing content to a user", "for tracking the usage behavior of said client computer", and "for tracking usage of content at a domain level," and several systems, including systems "for tracking the usage behavior for a user of a client computer system" and "for selectively providing content to a client computer." According to Microsoft in the patent, it is "desired to implement a tracking system for computer users that does not burden computing processing, guarantees anonymity, and is applicable to track computer users navigating to various content sites hosted on various domains." This patent discloses a scenario of a client computer requesting content from a server, and in response to the request, a cookie is created and transferred back to the client computer "for future use." Then, when the client requests subsequent content, the cookie is included, and the server, upon receipt, receives the cookie and it "is processed for and updated with content usage information." In an example provided in the patent for MSN.COM, an embedded image may be used, and such an image can be "invisible." The benefit to cookies, according to the patent, is that they "provide programmers with a quick and convenient means for keeping site content fresh and relevant to the user's interests."

U.S. Patent No. 7,039,699 LINK
Internetnews.com Article: LINK
Ars Technica Article: LINK

May 10, 2006

I will periodically post case citations from the Federal Circuit along with the date of the opinion/order and a brief list of the legal topics discussed therein (specifically those with additional embedded case law citations). This posting covers the thirty-sixth through the fortieth that were appealed from the district court level and decided by the Federal Circuit in 2006. All opinions are precedential unless otherwise indicated.

Exigent Technology, Inc. v. Atrana Solutions, Inc. (03/22/2006): appropriateness of grant of summary judgment, Rule 56(f) motions, enforceable agreement prior to final judgment, attorney’s fees and costs not applicable to settlements

Wilson Sporting Goods Company v. Hillerich & Bradsby Co. (03/23/2006): applicability of regional circuit court law, patent infringement analysis steps (claim construction & applicability thereof), ordinary and customary meaning of terms, the term “rigid” & legal precedent

Atofina v. Great Lakes Chemical Corporation (03/23/2006): Markman, anticipation, determination of infringement, and inequitable conduct standards of appellate review, ordinary and customary term meanings, anticipation of prior art reference, inequitable conduct materiality and intent

U.S. Philips Corp. v. Princo Corp., et al. (03/27/2006, non-precedential): interpretation of 35 U.S.C. § 271(d)(5), patent misuse & unlawful tying, package licensing, narrowing of patent misuse defense

Revolution Eyewear, Inc., et al. v. Aspex Eyewear, Inc., et al. (03/30/2006, non-precedential): summary judgment standard of appellate review, prior art anticipation standard, prosecution history disclaimer & reading-out of preferred embodiments

May 09, 2006

I will periodically post case citations from the Federal Circuit along with the date of the opinion/order and a brief list of the legal topics discussed therein (specifically those with additional embedded case law citations). This posting covers the thirty-first through the thirty-fifth that were appealed from the district court level and decided by the Federal Circuit in 2006. All opinions are precedential unless otherwise indicated.

Schoenhaus v. Genesco (03/15/2006): claim construction (and appellate standard of review), specification & prosecution history term support, patentee as lexicographer, claims as issued versus claims as filed

Arlaine & Gina Rockey, Inc. v. Cordis Corp. (03/16/2006, non-precedential): royalties & claim scope, contract (license) law jurisdiction, summary judgment appellate standard of review, infringement process determination, claim construction (and application thereof), doctrine of equivalents

Rozenblat v. Sandia Corp., et al. (03/17/2006, non-precedential): jurisdiction (and appellate standard of review), subject matter and personal jurisdiction over declaratory judgments, requirement of pursuit of patent reexamination

Bicon, Inc, et al. v. The Straumann Company, et al. (03/20/2006): purpose and interpretation of patent claims, preamble and body of claim language, applicability of doctrine of equivalents, licensee lawsuit standing

Infiltrator Systems, Inc., et al. v. Cultec, Inc., et al. (03/21/2006, non-precedential): denial of motion for preliminary injunction, mootness, no live case or controversy

May 08, 2006

On March 28th, Donald Trump filed a formal opposition before the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), opposing a trademark application by his ex-wife, Ivana Trump. The trademark application at issue is serial no. 78/486,404, a standard character mark intent-to-use application for "IVANA TRUMP" filed by Ivana Trump on September 20, 2004, for use with "real estate services" including "real estate development" and "real estate advertising services." Donald Trump, in his opposition, referred to several of his federally registered trademarks, including "TRUMP TOWER", "TRUMP PALACE", and "TRUMP PARK AVENUE", and stated that he "has been using the name and trademark TRUMP in connection with a multitude of high-profile real estate projects." The opposition further states that the proposed mark "is confusingly similar to Mr. Trump's numerous, distinctive, and famous TRUMP marks," and that "due to the extensive fame and renown of Mr. Trump's TRUMP mark, concurrent use of the mark IVANA TRUMP by Applicant and TRUMP by Mr. Trump in the identical field of real estate services would likely result in consumer confusion…and, therefore, Mr. Trump is likely to be damaged by registration of Applicant's proposed mark." An answer was filed by Ivana Trump on April 28, 2006, generally denying the allegations in the opposition, but also (1) admitting that Donald Trump "is engaged in the business of real estate development", and (2), averring that "no "mark TRUMP", which is primarily merely a surname, is owned by Opposer."

Full Opposition and Answer Text: LINK
"IVANA TRUMP" Application Information: LINK


May 05, 2006

By Greg Duff

Last month, a bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would change various aspects of how patents are obtained and litigated. The bill, called the Patents Depend on Quality Act of 2006 (H.R. 5096), includes measures addressing some frequently discussed patent reform topics, such as the availability of injunctive relief and post-grant patent review. However, another noteworthy measure would alter the rules for asserting claims of willful infringement against an alleged infringer. The question is, just how much would the process of litigating such claims change?

Under current law, parties to a patent infringement suit routinely spend substantial time and money litigating issues related to willful infringement before it is determined whether any asserted claim has been infringed. The new bill would require major changes to the usual approach by preventing the patentee from pleading, and the court from deciding, a claim of willfulness "[b]efore the date on which a determination has been made that the patent in suit is not invalid, is enforceable, and has been infringed by the infringer." PDQ Act of 2006, H.R. 5096, 109th Cong. § 6 (2006).

Although the proposed act seems to require a bifurcation of the trial on the issue of willful infringement, its effect on other aspects of future litigation is somewhat unclear. For example, after the issues of infringement, validity, and enforceability are decided, the court will be required to decide any remaining issue of willfulness. Will the parties have an opportunity to address willfulness through additional motion practice, only reaching a further bench trial if necessary? Additionally, the provision's effect on willfulness discovery is not clear. By delaying the pleading of willfulness until after a decision on infringement, is the provision intended to preclude willfulness discovery prior to a decision on infringement?

In the absence of clear language addressing willfulness discovery, the bill's limitation on pleading may not per se impose a limitation on discovery. Indeed, one could argue that, pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, courts have the discretion to allow discovery related to claims not identified in the pleadings so long as the discovery is relevant to the subject matter involved in the suit, the discovery is admissible or appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, and "good cause" is shown. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1) and advisory committee notes (2000).

Thus, there may be an open question about whether the bill would prohibit discovery of facts solely related to willfulness until after infringement is decided. If the bill is passed as it currently reads, the courts would likely be faced with such questions. Perhaps any version of the bill that may emerge from Congress will clearly speak to the issue.

House of Representatives Press Release: LINK
Text of the Bill (H.R. 5096): LINK

Greg Duff is an attorney with Ice Miller focusing his efforts on patent litigation.

May 04, 2006

On May 15-16, 2006, the USPTO will be presenting its “CONFERENCE ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE,” focusing on inventors & companies looking to market and manufacture their products overseas. This event will be held in Columbus, Ohio, at the Hyatt Capitol Square. Several topics, including PCT practice, domain names, copyright, enforcing IP rights, and Chinese IP issues will be discussed. Steve Pinkos, the Deputy Under Secretary for Intellectual Property, will open the conference on May 15th, and Senator George V. Voinovich of Ohio is the keynote speaker during lunch that day as well. The event is free, but registration is required.

USPTO Conference Webpage: LINK
Conference Agenda: LINK
Online Conference Registration Form: LINK
Hyatt Capitol Square Website: LINK

May 03, 2006

Late last month, the Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agriculture and Mechanical College received a U.S. patent regarding several methods to inhibit furin which, according to the patent, “can be used in inhibiting certain bacterial infections, viral infections, and cancers.” U.S. Patent No. 7,033,991 ("Inhibiting furin with polybasic peptides"), issued on April 25th, claims several methods “for treating a mammalian host,” the first method involving a “host [that] is infected by pathogenic bacteria, and wherein the pathogenic bacteria express at least one toxin whose toxicity depends on furin-mediated cleavage, said method comprising administering to the host a polyarginine between five and twenty arginine residues long, for a time and in an amount sufficient to reduce the toxicity of the toxin; wherein the polyarginine inhibits the activity of furin.” Several potent toxins, including pseudomonas, diphtheria, anthrax, HIV, Ebola, and herpes are referenced in the patent, as furin is believed to be involved in the “pathogenesis of many viruses and bacteria.” According to Dr. Iris Lindberg, the first named inventor and Professor of Biochemistry at LSU, “D6R-like furin inhibitors will represent a good starting point to develop effective and potent new drugs that will not only prove a viable approach to combat some types of bacterial infection, but also add to our country's bioweapons defense arsenal."

U.S. Patent No. 7,033,991 LINK
EurekAlert! News Article: LINK

May 02, 2006

The 128th Annual Meeting of the International Trademark Association (INTA) will be held starting this weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Although pre-registration has ended, attendees can still register on any day of the meeting that, as of the end of last week, had approximately 6,500 attendees already registered. Several trademark topics will be addressed at the meeting, including dilution, licensing, preliminary injunctions, filing strategies, and the like. Gary Bettman, the Commissioner of the National Hockey League, is the keynote speaker for this event. There are currently over 80 exhibitors registered, including representatives from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and several national and international trademark service organizations.

INTA Annual Meeting Webpage: LINK
INTA Meeting Topic List: LINK
INTA Meeting Program Webpage: LINK
Metro Toronto Convention Centre Webpage LINK

May 01, 2006

Last Tuesday, Geron Corporation received a U.S. patent regarding several methods to obtain insulin-secreting cells. U.S. Patent No. 7,033,831 ("Islet cells from human embryonic stem cells"), issued on April 25th, claims methods “for obtaining human insulin secreting cells.” This patent states not only the number of people with or at risk of diabetes, but the then-current costs of treatment of the disease. The first method discloses a system comprising “culturing hES cells in a first medium comprising Activin A” and “maturing [those] cells [] in a second medium comprising nicotinamide; thereby obtaining a population comprising human insulin secreting cells.” Other media, including trans-retinoic acid and TGF-β antagonist and one or more mitogens, either along with nicotinamide, are also elements of method claims in this patent. This patent discloses a system “[f]or embryonic stem cell derived islet cells to become a commercially viable proposition, there is a need to develop new procedures that provide for populations of islet cells of high purity,” and discloses “a system for efficient production of primate cells that have differentiated from pluripotent cells into cells of the islet cell lineage.”

U.S. Patent No. 7,033,831: LINK
Geron Press Release: LINK
bizjournals News Article (through Yahoo!): LINK

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Disclaimer

Copyright 2006-2010, Mark Reichel. The Daily Dose of IP is my personal website, and I am not providing any legal advice or financial analysis. Any views expressed herein should not be viewed as being the views of my employer, Ice Miller LLP. Any comments submitted to this blog will not be held in confidence and will not be considered as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Information submitted to this blog should be considered as being public information, and the submitter takes full responsibility for any consequences of any information submitted. No claims, promises, or guarantees are made or available regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information contained in this blog or otherwise available by searching from or linking away from this blog.

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The DDIP Author





Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

Click HERE to view my full professional bio at Reichel IP LLC.


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