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Gene Quinn
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Patent Attorney, Blogger, Teacher, Amateur Photographer
Patent Attorney, Blogger, Teacher, Amateur Photographer

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During the last hearing of the House Judiciary Committee there was an attempt to insert language via amendment that would make it impossible for Kyle Bass and others to challenge pharmaceutical patents via post grant challenge at the Patent Office. Judiciary Chair Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) vociferously objected saying that if the amendment to prevent post grant challenges to pharmaceutical patents passed it would create a so-called scoring problem with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). What an admission by Goodlatte! No legislative help is coming for pharma's post grant challenge problem because the federal government likes the idea of some patents on important drugs being invalidated, which will save Medicare money.

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The patent portfolio discloses systems and methods involving a secure credit card with onboard biometric fingerprint capabilities, RFID, and display that can be powered either by ambient light, backlight from a point-of-sale terminal or mobile device, RFID coupling, smart IC contact, or battery. Card information is transmitted to the terminal and receives a secure validation code after which some combination of a card validation and/or biometric-based user validation code are generated and transmitted back to the point of validation. By decoupling authorization of the fingerprint image and the user’s personal information, transmission and data vulnerabilities within the existing payment card system are addressed while consumer behavior remains unchanged.

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The reason that Iowa State and the University of Iowa find themselves on the outside looking in is because of the way they have structured their patent ownership and licensing efforts. As is rather common, Iowa State and the University of Iowa place ownership of patents outside the institution and in the hands of a Research Foundation, which is a separate entity altogether. Thus, Iowa State University Research Foundation and the University of Iowa Research Foundation own the patents of Iowa State University and the University of Iowa, respectively.

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Here is my list of the 25 greatest songs of all time, with a dozen or so honorable mentions. 

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The Innovation Protection Act, one of the lesser known patent bills percolating in Congress over the past few years, would provide a source of permanent funding for the USPTO.  The fees collected by the USPTO would remain available to the USPTO until expended. This common sense idea has been floated for years, but it never seems to go anywhere. Appropriators have been unwilling to commit to allowing the USPTO to keep user fees, diverting $1 billion worth of collected fees from the USPTO according to the Intellectual Property Owners Association. This may not seem like much but is a lot of money, but for an agency the size of the USPTO it is a lot of money. 

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Beginning this week we will profile green technologies and environmentally friendly innovations, like we always have leading up to Earth Day. We will not, however, buy into the political rhetoric or hysterical claims pedaled by environmentalists as dogmatic fact. 

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One of the most frequent questions I get asked by inventors and businesses is about how much it will cost to obtain a patent. Estimating US patent costs is a difficult matter because so much depends on the technology involved, but answering “it depends” is not particularly insightful or helpful. With that in mind, what follows are some general ballpark estimates, which should give at least some guidance when trying to budget for the filing of a patent application at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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If you ask, most people can cite a day, which, to them anyway, changed the world. It may be the start or end of a war; the beginning or end of an administration; a specific piece of legislation; a birth or death; etc. Well, how about April 10, 1790? To patent folks the earth shook, the heavens opened, and history forever altered. This was the day the first version of the U.S. patent act was signed. It was the third Act of Congress.

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Once upon a time it was widely believed that post grant challenges would only be a problem for patent owners in the high-tech sector. Increasingly, however, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are finding that their patents are coming under fire, which is alarming given that these companies have relatively few patents covering the commercialized product. If the Bass challenge is successful there will be many more that follow due to the heavy reliance on patents to protect the extremely expensive research and development required to take pharmaceuticals and biosimilars to market. Indeed, if Bass is successful it could be catastrophic for the industry.

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As the law has evolved things that were once clearly patent eligible are now patent ineligible, but that doesn’t mean that the underlying innovations aren’t commercially valuable or innovative.
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