On 12 July 2013, Senator Leahy (D-VT), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee requested that the NIH exercise its march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act to promote genetic testing for BRCA mutations that are associated with a person’s risk for breast and ovarian cancer. In June, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously ruled that isolated DNA is not patentable, and immediately afterward, other companies stated they would provide BRCA testing. Continue Reading
On 18 June 2013, 170 Members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama criticizing India for its “intellectual property climate.” In particular, the letter criticizes recent decisions in the Indian courts, including a specific attack on India’s first compulsory license granted on Nexavar/sorafenib. Continue Reading
On Monday, 17 June 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States released its opinion in Federal Trade Comm’n v. Actavis (formerly captioned as FTC v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.). The decision, with a 5-3 split, found that pay-for-delay settlement agreements are unusual, raising concerns of anticompetitive behavior, and are not immune from antitrust scrutiny. Continue Reading
On 13 June 2013, the long awaited opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case on whether human DNA is patentable was issued and, the last line of the opinion summarizes, “We merely hold that genes and the information they encode are not patent eligible under §101 simply because they have been isolated from the surrounding genetic material.”
Statement of Knowledge Ecology International in Support of the Unlocking Technology Act (H.R. 1892)
June 9, 2013
The bipartisan Unlocking Technology Act (H.R. 1892), introduced by Representative Lofgren (D-CA) and co-sponsored by Representatives DeFazio (D-OR), Eshoo (D-CA), Holt (D-NJ), Massie (R-KY), and Polis (D-CO) takes the welcome step of scaling back the overprotection of “digital locks” and promoting consumer choice and competition.
On Monday, 13 May 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously held that patent exhaustion does not apply to second, third or nth generations of seeds. In an opinion authored by Justice Kagan, the court found that patent exhaustion does not apply to seeds because later generations constitute new copies of the invention. Continue Reading
On 1 May 2013, USTR released its 2013 Special 301 Report. Ukraine was put on the Priority Foreign Country list this year, a designation not used by USTR for several years. USTR’s 2013 report spends more than six pages discussing China and two full pages on India. Below are some comments regarding this year’s report.
Least Developed Countries
On 15 April 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in the case Association for Molecular Pathology, et. al., v. Myriad Genetics, et. al, hearing arguments over the question: are human genes patentable? The case, which has been litigated since 2009, specifically involves two genes, known as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes which are associated with an individual’s susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer. Continue Reading
On Monday, 25 March 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in the case, Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc., et. al. This case had previously been captioned as Federal Trade Commission v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, et. al., but was recaptioned after the combination of Actavis and Watson. KEI filed an amicus brief in support of the FTC which is available here (along with additional background to the case). Continue Reading