30 September 2014

September newsletter in 60 seconds

Having driven up the coast from San Diego to San Francisco after the BIO International Convention in June, I was fascinated to learn from our latest “cluster focus” that the Bay Area of California has one of the greatest concentrations of life sciences companies in the world.

Yet apparently, even though there are law firms in the area to support the technology industry, there’s a shortage of life sciences IP lawyers there. Of course, some lawyers will be able to apply their high-tech experience to the life sciences industry but it still seems too good an opportunity to miss: to set up in the warm, sunny Bay Area to serve companies urgently looking for your expertise.

Back home, it was time to chair the first LSIPR roundtable discussion, which took place in a hotel with superb views of the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and the River Thames. There were six invited guests—including both patent attorneys and patent litigators—and the discussion began, inevitably, with the USPTO’s guidelines on patent-eligible subject matter in the wake of the Myriad and Mayo court decisions.

That had been a focus of attention in the IP stream at BIO—at times it seemed the only focus—and the debate in London was lively and animated. There were plenty of other topics discussed in a sessionthat lasted for several hours, and we’ll be bringing you those in a special report to be published shortly.

However, in this issue of the LSIPR Newsletter, we’ve included as an hors d’oeuvre some of the debate on the USPTO guidelines, which readers will know have been roundly criticised by all and sundry. Key questions debated included whether they will be changed and what the implications are this side of the pond.

Next time, it’s been suggested, a good topic would be the Unified Patent Court and its implications for pharma but if you think we should include something else then just let me know.

Martin Essex, Managing editor

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