Sunday, February 16, 2014

Professor Feldman - Patent Trolling: Why Bio & Pharmaceuticals Are at Risk

In the study, Patent Trolling: Why Bio & Pharmaceuticals Are At Risk, Professor Feldman and Harvard Fellow Dr. Nicholson Price discuss patent trolls- also referred to as non-practicing entities, patent assertion entities, and patent monetizers- moving into the biotech, pharmaceutical, and life science industries.

The authors state highlights include:

"With the Association of University Technology Managers revisiting its policy against selling to NPEs, the authors considered whether universities could provide an extensive pool of ammunition for NPEs to launch against current products.

To supplement increasing anecdotal evidence that patent trolling is moving into bio and pharma, the authors examined the life science holdings of five major universities.We skimmed the patent holdings for four of the of five university systems with the highest number of patents issued in fiscal year 2011: the University of California system, the University of Texas system, MIT, and CalTech. We added as a wild-card the University of Southern Florida, the school among the top 10 in 2011 patent grants which had the lowest ratio of license revenues to research expenditures.

The study identified dozens of patents that could be deployed against current bio and pharm industries, following the patterns that NPEs have used against other industries. These include patents on drug formulas, methods of treatments, research methods, dosage forms, and others.

In deciding whether to undertake the study, the authors agonized over whether the potential for harm outweighed the potential benefit. After all, if reform efforts are not undertaken, the work could simply provide a handy road map for those who would follow.

Life sciences trolling is predictable and in its infancy, however. The study is intended to sound a warning bell."

Even if you are not the biotech or life science industries, the study gives insight into patent troll strategies.

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