Tag Archives: legal

The US supreme court recently struck a blow to biological and pharmaceutical industries.  They shot down a patent (and probably several others that use similar technology) on measuring a metabolite as a diagnostic procedure.  In other words, even if someone came up with the idea to measure a particular naturally generated substance as a way to diagnose an illness or dose a medication, it’s not patentable. The article in the Chronicle of Higher Education states: Patent claims that merely describe natural phenomena are not patent-eligible, the court said, and the diagnostic procedure outlined in the patents at stake in the case “adds nothing to the laws of nature that is not already present when the steps are considered separately.” It makes sense why this would be problematic in medicine, a field that is facing rising costs.  If tests require patents to be administered, this significantly increases the cost and means…

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There has been some discussion on patents before here on EB – how you need to have not just an idea, but also proof-of-concept, a physical prototype, and manufacturing process in mind to apply for a patent. How sometimes you need to have a patent to start your company, and sometimes they are worthless to you, and sometimes they are just a roadblock in your way. But sometimes it’s not the patents on YOUR idea that you are worried about. What happens if you have a brilliant, light-bulb-flash idea, and somebody ELSE seems to have patented it? Bugger! What can you do? That’s the situation I’ve been in this week. I’ve been poring over a ridiculous number of patents (okay, maybe not ridiculous, but 32 – that’s enough to make my brain hurt) to see if what I want to do is going to infringe anybody else’s patent. Here’s some of the things that you…

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