- Computer Law
- International Practice
|The Seed Patent Case: Bowman v. Monsanto|
|DNA and Patents: Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. - Podcast|
On Monday, April 15, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in a patents case, Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc, concerning whether human genes can be patented. Myriad Genetics, which identified two sections of the genetic code that might indicate higher risk for certain types of cancer, obtained patents on the "isolated" or removed versions of these two genes on the basis that Myriad invented a new chemical in the process of identifying and removing these genes from the body. The challengers claim that Myriad Genetics has created nothing new, but rather the process is an examination of a substance found in nature whose attributes remain unchanged. What will the Court’s decision hold for a field where thousands of gene patents have already been secured? Do such patents inhibit or promote further such discoveries, or is the evidence clear? On this previously recorded conference call, our expert, who attended the oral argument, discusses and provides his thoughts on the case and answers questions from callers.
|Is the Patent System Working or Broken? A Discussion with Four Distinguished Federal Judges - Event Audio/Video|
Today, people read almost daily reports about the "broken patent system" in newspaper articles, blogs and at social media websites. Is this true? On the one hand, the high-tech and biotech industries seem awash in patent litigation, and Congress, the FTC, and the Supreme Court are considering adopting a variety of reform measures. On the other hand, the availability of patents and the property rights they secure are driving technological innovations once imagined only as science fiction - tablet computers, smart phones, genetically modified seeds, genetic testing for cancer, personalized medical treatments for debilitating diseases, and many others - and these technological marvels are now a commonplace feature of our lives.
A panel of distinguished jurists will discuss these two conflicting perspectives on whether the patent system today promotes or hampers innovation: Arthur Gajarsa, former Judge on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Paul Michel, former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and Richard Posner, Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The panel will be moderated by Douglas Ginsburg, former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and a Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law.
The panelists have combined many years of experience in adjudicating patent cases, writing and speaking on patent or IP policy, and engaging with legal and policy issues closely connected with the patent system, such as antitrust and law and economics. With wide-ranging views on the current health of the patent system and the relevant solutions, the panel discussion will be insightful and illuminating. The event is co-sponsored by the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property at George Mason University School of Law and the Federalist Society's Intellectual Property Practice Group.
National Press Club
|The Seeds of Patent Law: Bowman v. Monsanto - Podcast|
On Tuesday, February 19, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Bowman v. Monsanto, an extremely important case about the scope of patent licensing rights and their important role in the biotech industry. Nominally, the case is about whether Monsanto can impose a single-use restriction on purchases of its patented genetically modified soybean seed. Bowman, who reused Monsanto's patented seed in violation of express license terms prohibiting him from doing this, says “no” because the seed, unlike patented technologies in the mechanical or high-tech fields, is necessarily “self-replicating.” Monsanto maintains that without the ability to impose the types of use restrictions that patent-owners have legally done since the early 19th century, it cannot recoup its substantial R&D investments in these valuable and life-enhancing products of the biotech revolution. The implications of this case go far beyond genetically modified seeds and the green revolution, as patented isolated DNA, microorganisms, and cell lines used in medical treatments are all “self-replicating.” This case raises fundamental questions about the scope of patent protection over forms of life and how the patent system functions in securing the new innovation that has made the green and biotech revolutions—and the wonders of modern life—possible.
|Federalist Society’s Executive Branch Review Project: A Teleforum with Senator Mike Lee and David McIntosh - Podcast|
An increase in Federal executive branch regulatory activity – whether through executive order, formal or informal administrative agency action – has been noted by many across the country. In launching the Executive Branch Review Project, the Practice Groups of the Federalist Society seek to prompt a national debate about whether there has been an uptick in such regulatory activity, and, if so, with what consequence. The project will provide objective resources that identify major government activity, and will provide a forum for debate and discussion about whether such regulation constitutes a form of legal and regulatory overreach. The first component of this project is a new blog dedicated to highlighting action or inaction by the executive branch, http://www.executivebranchproject.com/
To kickoff this new endeavor, U.S. Senator Michael S. Lee (Utah) and Federalist Society founder and Vice Chairman David M. McIntosh discussed the project and provided their perspectives on the use of executive power.