RF EMerge

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Owning a federal trademark registration provides the ability to exclude others from using a certain word or design in association with specific goods or services. In the United States this exclusivity of rights, however, can also derive from actual use in commerce without a federal registration. In this case, it is critical to pinpoint the earliest date of use in commerce in order to prove to be the first to have used a certain mark…
Patent examiners operate under a complex network of production and quality incentives that influence the likelihood that an examiner will allow or reject a given patent application. In an empirical study published in the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal (summary available here), my co-author and I (both former examiners) detailed incentive policies at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and analyzed how those policies impact patent quality and examiner decision-making. By…
Founders of emerging companies must decide early on in their company’s growth cycle whether to require employees to assign their inventions (including rights to patent and patent applications –collectively “patent rights”) to the company.  This post provides a non-exhaustive analytical framework for founders to consider when making such decisions. Understanding Patent Ownership Under US patent law, ownership of patent rights includes the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell, or importing…
Since the U.S. patent law switched to the first-inventor-to-file system in 2013, provisional applications have become more popular as the initial step for emerging companies to protect their inventions. Provisional applications can be a high value approach if used properly.  However, if not done correctly, they provide little protection or can even undermine the inventor’s patent down the road.  This post reviews the benefits of provisional applications and potential pitfalls to avoid. What is a…
2021 started off well for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, with the launch of its new venture fund, Binney Street Capital, LLC, designed to invest in cutting edge technology to treat incurable cancers. The cancer-fighting giant tapped Roche and Verily veteran Luba Greenwood to lead the Fund as its Managing Partner, which will be guided by an advisory group comprised of leading industry experts and investors focused on furthering Dana-Farber’s mission.   More than 51 startups, including…
On January 11, 2020, the Broad Institute, Verily Life Sciences, and Microsoft announced a strategic partnership to accelerate biomedical innovations through the Terra platform. Terra was originally developed by the Broad Institute and Verily, and is a cloud-native platform for researchers to access data, run analysis tools, and collaborate.  The platform connects thousands of researchers with each other and to the datasets gathered from nearly 2 million study participants, including data of cancer genomics, infectious…
Sometimes it is necessary to use a third-party trademark to refer to the owner of a trademark or its goods and services, and not to describe a particular good or service. Can this use result in trademark infringement? This second part of fair use of a trademark will examine the doctrine of nominative fair use, which regulates how third-party trademarks can be fairly and lawfully used by non-owners to refer to goods and services or…
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office human resource policies influence patentability decisions, potentially increasing the rate at which examiners issue allowances. In our study published in the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Quarterly Journal, my co-author, Lian Huang, and I analyze the impact of production and quality incentives on the quality of patentability decisions. Our conclusions are based on an empirical analysis of USPTO transaction data from 2001 to 2012. In addition to finding that USPTO…
Earlier this week, Biogen and ViGeneron signed a global collaboration and licensing agreement to develop gene therapies for inherited eye diseases. The companies will use Munich-based ViGeneron’s proprietary adeno-associated virus (AAV) technology platform to efficiently transduce target retinal cells via intravitreal injections. Under the agreement, ViGeneron will develop in vitro therapeutic candidates for an undisclosed target. Biogen has the right to add an additional target within two years. The companies will jointly conduct a proof-of-concept…
The Italian pharmaceutical company Angelini Pharma announced on January 4, 2021, that it will acquire emerging Swiss biotech company Arvelle Therapeutics for a total aggregate valuation of up to $960 million. Angelini Pharma will pay Arvelle Therapeutics $610 million following the European Medicines Agency’s (“EMA”) approval of the epilepsy drug cenobamate, sold under the brand name Xcopri®. Arvelle will also receive another $350 million if cenobamate reaches certain revenue targets. Cenobamate is a small…