Week’s news headlines – Jan. 27th 2017


Mallinckrodt to pay $100m in antitrust case over infant drug
The FTC accused Mallinckrodt of having violated antitrust laws when it acquired the rights to a drug that threatened its monopoly in the US market for the infant drug adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). 



Teva sues Mylan over Copaxone patent infringement
Teva has sued Mylan for alleged patent infringement over Copaxone (glatiramer acetate injection), a treatment for patients with relapsing-remitting forms of multiple sclerosis.

Michelle Lee set to remain as Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office under the Trump administration
Well-placed sources have told IAM that the USPTO could announce as early as today that Michelle Lee will continue as the agency’s director under the Trump administration when the new President takes office following his inauguration tomorrow. If confirmed, the reappointment would not be subject to approval from the Senate.

Key FTC Commissioner states patents should remain a cornerstone of an effective US innovation policy
A member of the Federal Trade Commission has highlighted the importance of the US patent system to the country’s innovation economy, warning that investment in new technologies could be threatened by a weakening of patent rights.

Fisher-Price files patent suit charging infringement of children’s ride-on vehicle technologies
On Tuesday, January 17th, children’s toy maker Fisher-Price Inc. of East Aurora, NY, filed a patent infringement suit against bicycle distributor Dynacraft BSC, Inc. of American Canyon, CA. At issue in the case is a series of patents covering electronic speed control technologies used in battery-powered ride-on products marketed by Dynacraft. The patent infringement suit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware (D. Del.).

Houlihan’s Black Stone acquisition is a sign of growing confidence in the US patent market
Last week it was announced that investment bank Houlihan Lokey had acquired Black Stone IP in another sign that financial giants are taking a closer look at the patent space. The deal will see Black Stone’s US-based staff of 12 join Houlihan, including CEO Elvir Causevic and managing director Edmund Fish who will co-head the group at their new home. A Bosnian-based operation is not part of the deal, but will retain connections with Houlihan.

The Disintegration of the American Patent System
The American patent system represents a delicate balance. On the one hand, the patent system provides an incentive to invest in risky technical problem solving by giving an inventor an “exclusive right” for a limited time. On the other hand, from the time of the first Patent Act in 1790, patent critics have argued that patents block competition with a temporary monopoly. This tension has, nevertheless, enabled the rise of the U.S. as a major industrial economy, particularly after the Civil War. Optimally, the patent system encourages inventors to take risks to invent and disclose new and useful things by investing in ex ante costs before a later payoff. After a limited time of exclusivity rights, a patented invention falls into the public sphere, thereby providing a public interest in the long run. Economic and technological progress proceeds by building on previous inventions. Until about 2006, the U.S. patent system worked well, as evident in the development of the largest and strongest economy in the world


Intellectual Property

Biogen to pay $1.25bn to Forward Pharma in licensing deal
Biogen and Forward Pharma, a Denmark-based company, have entered into a settlement and licensing agreement under which Biogen will pay Forward Pharma $1.25 billion.



EFF files brief in VidAngel injunction appeal
The US government can’t prohibit certain actions including the bypassing of copyright protection measures without running afoul of the First Amendment, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Ninth Circuit rejects adult publisher’s claims of copyright infringement
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has upheld a decision that went against Perfect 10, a publisher of adult images, centring on Usenet.

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