KEI letter to Steve Ricchetti, asking recusal in matters that involve former clients

On March 12, 2012, Tedmund Wan posted a note on Joe Biden’s appointment of Steve Ricchetti, exploring potential conflicts of interest with the clients in a lobbying firm that he ran. On March 29, 2012, KEI formally asked Ricchetti to recuse himself in matters concerning his former clients. The letter follows.

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29 March 2012

Steve Ricchetti
Counselor to Vice President Joe Biden
The White House
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KEI Comments to USPTO on Genetic Diagnostic Testing

In response to a Federal Register notice seeking comments on genetic diagnostic testing, KEI submitted comments detailing several proposals with respect to patents on diagnostic technologies and also included notes regarding our position in the American Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics litigation. In addition to the questions listed in Federal Register notice, we recommended that the USPTO address two additional questions:

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The 2012 WIPO/Library of Congress International Copyright Training symposium for developing countries

This week WIPO and the Library of Congress are holding a week long symposium on International Copyright, with title:


Emerging Issues in Copyright and Related Rights for Developing
Countries and Countries with Economies in Transition
organized by
the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
in cooperation with
the United States Copyright Office, Library of Congress
Washington D.C., March 19 to 23, 2012

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Unanimous Supreme Court decision invalidates Prometheus diagnostic test patents and reverses Federal Circuit decision

In a major patent ruling today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a unanimous decision in Mayo v. Prometheus Laboratories. The case, heard twice before the Federal Circuit (once before the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bilski and once after), has been closely followed because of its impacts on personalized medicine and potential implications for the Myriad Genetics case on the BRCA genes. The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and held that Prometheus’ patents-at-issue were not eligible for patent protection.

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Who is Sally Susman, and why does she want poor people to pay higher prices for medicines?

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Sally Susman of Pfizer leads the most lethal lobbying effort on drug patents and prices. She’s also a big Obama campaign fundraiser.

For several years, Pfizer has been considered a hardliner among big pharma companies on international negotiations over intellectual property rights and drug pricing. This has not changed despite the company having had three CEOs in the past five years.

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WTO Dispute Settlement: Ukraine files dispute against Australia (13 March 2012) on Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill 2011

The following information is taken directly from the World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement web page which reports that on 13 March 2012, Ukraine requested consultations with Australia under the WTO’s dispute settlement system with respect to Australia’s Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill 2011 which the WTO website noted imposes “trademark restrictions and other plain packaging requirements on tobacco products“.

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Steve Ricchetti’s former clients, and Joe Biden

On March 12, 2012, Steve Ricchetti began his new job as a high level policy adviser to Vice President Biden. Steve Ricchetti is a former registered lobbyist, who de-listed as a registered lobbyist but remained the president of a lobbying firm until taking his new job in the White House.

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