Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Use The Wrench

A Wrench for Resources and Tools

Way Better Patents publishes a wide range of useful tools to help you understand what's going on in the patent world.  These tools and resources include glossaries, USPTO terms of art, an article about how we read a patent when we're trying to figure out what it's all about, explanations of what's in our data and what's in our maps.  There are charts,tables, and cheat sheets explaining all those numbers on patents, things like kind codes, application serial numbers, a list of all the patent numbers issued by type each year.  

There are articles on IP basics and the differences between different types of IP and patents.  how patent classification works and the changes being made as USPTO shifts to the CPC.  There are explanations of USPTO organizes patents and the basics about patents and the different scientific and technical domains.  

There's a section on words that includes the Way Better Patents intellectual property and innovation reading list and some of our favorite quotes on innovators and inventors, and our Thought Leadership list -- academic and research articles that we thought were interesting and compelling with interesting points of view and discussions on important science and technology issues. (We also include articles we think are ridiculous so you can decide for yourself.)

"If I had listened to my customers, I would have built a faster horse."
Henry Ford

The Wrench can point you to articles on business methods patents, taxpayer funded inventions and the Bayh-Dole act.  There is an in depth Discovery and Analysis study of the USPTO Green Technology Pilot Program and the patents granted under that program so you can make your own decision on whether accelerated examination accelerates innovation.  (Did you know that GE received a patent for a bolt under the Green Tech Pilot Program because it was economically important.  It helped them build wind turbines faster.  No kidding.)  We also included links to all of our patentECO Green Technology resources.

There are also links to a host of articles on a wide range of topics on patent, invention, innovators, and the organizations that own patents.  We keep a running list of patent advocates (and foes) and what they are lobbying for.  

And of course there are the usual Digests, Maps, Scientific Presence Profiles, Box Scores and Score cards too.

So Click the Wrench icon to find Way Better Patent Resources and Tools to help you understand what's happening in the patentsphere.  It's at the top of most of our pages.  

The wrench may be tiny tool but it's a really powerful way to find resources at Way Better Patents.

Friday, April 17, 2015

What To Read Next

Lately the folks at Way Better Patents been reading a lot about precision medicine and the emerging worlds of molecular medicine, synthetic biology and biotech start-ups.  It's an outgrowth of watching the patent world try to figure out how it will deal with the very specific aspects of developing drugs for people that have a specific genomic profile. Not for the faint of heart or anyone who isn't good at complex thinking.  The level of scientific complexity in precision medicine on top of the intricate dance of protecting and enforcing intellectual property in the pharmaceutical industry will make for a very interesting patent landscape for years to come.  So we embarked upon an effort to get smart.

Our latest read is all about how Vertex Pharmaceuticals brought two important drugs to market.

The Antidote: Inside the World of New Pharma by Barry Werth — How the rugged world of drug innovation really works.

Why Read It?

This choice is timely for a lot of reasons.

It's easy to read despite the deep science and complicated processes it reveals.  Lots of interesting scientists and innovators here.

USPTO is faced with many challenges on what exactly is patentable in the microbiology, molecular medicine, chemistry space.  Is the invention a product of nature or not?  How will patent examiners deal with the avalanche of data that goes along with a new pharma patent application?  At our latest visit to USPTO’s Biotech Partnership it took over an hour and 57 slides just to explain how to upload a sequence listing and another mind exploding 45 minutes and two presenters just to explain how patent term extension works for drug patents.  (We'll be posting both shortly...stay tuned.)  There is a lot going on here.  

There are molecular medicine patents coming from very unusual places as the latest from the Colorado School of Mines shows.  We ignored Captain Renault's advice to "round up the usual suspects" and found 8,968,705 an invention in the nanomedicine space from The Colorado School of Mines (Mines) — gold/lanthanide nanoparticles for use in targeting, treating, and/or imaging disease states in a patient. You read that correctly, The Colorado School of Mines, the folks who focus on Earth, Energy, Environment. The university focused on engineering and applied science in the geoscience arena adds a new contribution to the spectrum of inventions in the nanomedicine space.

The economics of big pharma are in the midst of dramatic change as biotech delivers more customized medicines that address smaller populations of users. This dramatically changes the economics of healthcare.  The complex issues are unfolding before our eyes as people questions what they see as the exorbitant price for SOVALDI® (sofosbuvir) in treating Hepatitic C (it’s cheaper than a liver transplant) or KALYDECO® (ivacaftor) developed to treat cystic fibrosis.  Both drugs and diseases play starring roles in this book.

Back to the patentsphere for a moment.

There is lots of rumblings over the latest business ventures of Erich  Spangenberg in the pharma space. Mr. Spangenberg is working with Kyle Bass, an activist investor, to use the inter partes review process at USPTO to challenge and invalidate pharma patents.  Basically the play is to file an inter partes review to invalidate a patent, short the stock, and wait for the money to roll in.  There are a host of other shareholder fiduciary and due diligence issues here and board room plot twists galore.  What will be interesting here is that the pharma, biotech, chemistry IP crowd tend to play the patent game at a much higher level than our favorite business methods patent monetization letter writers. No going after the easy stuff like healthcare related business methods patents here. And, this is a passion play on what happens when you tinker with the patent system.  Most of the patentistas never envisioned the inter partes review process being used in the way Mr. Spangenberg and others are now using it.  Lots of intrigue.  Understanding the nuances of how a new molecular drug gets to market and the business of making that happen will help you be more informed when watching this latest patent monetization drama unfolds.  

Add the announcement from IBM, Apple, Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson on their new healthcare offering designed to change the information landscape of medicine and pharmaceutical design.  We’re fans of translational R&D. This partnership and others evolving in the space are clearly an important way to use information to move innovation from the bench to the bedside and back to the bench faster.

And then there are all the discussions on fixing the patent system, the Innovation Act, patent cliffs and the fate of big pharma, shorter patent terms for drugs and a host of other issues.  

Check out the Way Better Patents Reading List.  Read this one and Peter Huber’s The Cure Is In the Code and you’ll have a whole new perspective on pharma innovation and intellectual property. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Innovation Business Intelligence

Patents and published patent applications are one of the only publicly available sources of concise scientific information on the output of research and development, the potential use of the inventions, and new product design features. 

If you want to have a deep understanding of the direction of science, technology, and engineering, read patents.  If you don't want to read all of the arcane patent, try the way we read patents to see what they are about.  You don't have to read all of the details to understand the essence of a new invention and where it fits into the world of innovation.  

Each week we publish weekly state-by-state digests about all of the new patents granted that week, the inventors responsible for them...all of the inventors not just the first named inventor on a patent.  This will help you know when local companies and inventors are granted patents. It will help you know which companies are local and which companies are around the company that are working with local inventors.  

So what do you do with this information?  Find investment and partnership opportunities. Know what is happening in your technology parks. Understand the science and technology behind new university spin-outs and start-ups. Work with companies building new products to focus on new STEM job creation and enhance workforce development. Use the Coming Soon™ navigation map to see what's happening and reach out, recruit, retain, and grow.

If you want to know what innovation is coming patents.  It's not as bad as you think.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

This Drives Marketing People Nuts

Today the IBM Watson folks announced establishing a Watson Health Cloud to dramatically advance effectiveness and quality in personal health care, working with Apple, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic to get the HIPAA-enabled system up and running.  An innovative blockbuster collaboration.

Here is an image of the way this announcement appeared at the top of the Google Search:

Pfizer.  Not J&J, Apple, IBM or Medtronic.  This must drive the marketing people crazy.  The marketing people in Armonk, New Brunswick, Cupertino, and Minneapolis (and Dublin) are probably not pleased.

Oh...and my male colleagues inform me that these cute blue pills are Viagra.  You can't make this stuff up.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Cooperative Patent Classification Hits 100%

100% Coverage - Finally

This week is the first week that all newly granted patents contain Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) symbols.  It's been a long haul.  A lot of folks were focused on USPTO's granting of patent number 9,000,000.  We think the CPC news  is a much bigger achievement.

Next up, when will the CPC become the primary resource for examiners to search for prior art.  While the USPC is essentially a static collection of organized prior art, to date, we haven't seen a lot of growth in the Field of Search data indicating the wide use of the CPC for searching.  Perhaps this will increase when patent applicants include CPC data on their information disclosure statements.  Our guess is that it will be a long, long time before that happens unless USPTO mandates that they will only accept CPC symbols on the IDS.

This week's Box Scores are up.  Another interesting week in patent land.  So many multiplexed communication inventions again.  Geez.

Well, enough patent geekery for a Friday.  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen Place Your Bets

So Close Yet So Far...

Place your bets.  Will USPTO hit 100% of new patent grants having Cooperative Patent Classification symbols next week?  

Of the 6,251 utility patents this week, 98.4% had CPC classification data. Another uptick over last week's 96.6%.  Next week starts the publication of the Official Gazette with CPC data integrated therein.  Now it's going to get interesting.

Here is this week's box score summary:

Score Card

March 31, 2015
Total: 6,805
New Grants*: 6,796
*New Utility, Design, & Plant Patents
US Grants: 3,309
Foreign Grants: 3,496
Named Inventors: 18,541
Domain This Week Year To Date
Utility 6,251 71,710
Chemical 1,223 13,760
Electrical 3,371 38,624
Mechanical 1,657 19,326
Design 525 5,347
Plant 20 199
Reexam 11 184
Reissue 9 129
Errata 64 632
Corrections 398 5,744
Business Methods 36 342
Broad Business Methods 567 6,281
Databank Sitemap