California Patent Attorney® Blog

June 2012 Archives

Monsanto Sues Industry Giant DuPont For Patent Infringement

June 26, 2012,

wheat-seed.jpgCalifornia - Biotechnology and specifically the genetic engineering of seeds has become an extremely competitive industry. Environmental and population size issues have created the necessity for increased growing seasons and larger, more robust crops.

When traditional methods of producing these crops have been exhausted, farmers often turn to biotechnology to assist them. These biotechnology companies then spend millions to develop technology and almost as much to protect it from competitors. Well known seed engineering company Monsanto proved that it was no exception to this rule when it filed a lawsuit last week against Dupont and its Pioneer Hi-Bred International unit for what it considers an egregious infringement of its seed chipping patent. Filed Monday in Missouri district court, the lawsuit involves technology that identifies genetically modified seeds. Monsanto is asking for an injunction to prevent its competitor from infringing on its patented technology, as well as unspecified monetary damages.

Seed chipping is an important process used to automate samples of material from seeds while still allowing them to be planted later. This process allows for seeds to replicate faster. Monsanto introduced its seed chipping system in August 2007 and quickly patented the technology. Pioneer's "laser-assisted seed selection system" was released a year later. Dupont insists that the technology being used in its own seed-chipping technology was developed separate and apart from that being used by Monsanto. Furthermore, DuPont believes the allegations by Monsanto are without merit and vows to vigorously defend against its competitor's lawsuit.

Founded in 1901, Monsanto is the second largest producer of genetically engineered seeds and the leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup). Located in Creve Coeur, Missouri, Monsanto first produced saccharin for the Coca-Cola Company. Further biotechnology inventions came soon after, and Monsanto quickly became a leader in its field. The Missouri based company has a history of taking its competitors to court to protect its patent portfolio and it hopes this latest lawsuit can be settled quickly and amicably. And despite having to resort to litigation, Monsanto has indicated that it is open to the possibility of licensing its technology to DuPont and Pioneer.

California Pharmaceutical Company Receives European Patent Related to Multiple Sclerosis

June 15, 2012,

dna-strand.jpgCalifornia - Mountain View Pharmaceuticals (also known as 'MVP') announced that it was granted a European Patent titled "Polyethylene Glycol Conjugates of Interferon-beta-1b with Enhanced in vitro Biological Potency." This patent aims to aid in the reduction of cases in which patients with multiple sclerosis suffer from a relapse.

European Patent No. 1,667,708 B1 is just one of the 170 worldwide patents that MVP has been issued. MVP's Vice-President and Scientific Director Dr. Mark G.P. Saifer made a statement regarding the newly assigned patent stating, "In contrast with other patents and publications relating to PEG conjugates of interferon-beta, MVP's new European patent claims polymer conjugates of interferon-beta-1b that have increased in vitro potency, measured with human cancer cells in culture, and methods of synthesis of these novel conjugates. If our preclinical results are predictive of the performance of the PEG conjugates in humans, conversion of interferon-beta-1b to a long-acting form with higher potency could enhance the utility of this drug in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, viral infections and other conditions."

MVP, a privately owned Corporation, uses the polyethylene glycol (PEG) process in multiple of its patents. On its website, MVP uses the following phrase as its motto, "Better PEGs in Better Places for Better Products" and among its many registered trademarks, the pharmaceutical company is the owner of the U.S. trademark 'PharmaPEG' for multiple goods and services. MVP has also recently announced that it will publicize a scientific report that has been titled, "Next-Generation PEGylation Enables Reduced Immunoreactivity of PEG-Protein Conjugates," which will be published in the Drug Development & Delivery's June 2012 issue.

Dr. Merry R. Sherman, Chief Executive Officer and President of MVP stated of its research and newly announced publication, "MVP's technology related to long-acting forms of drugs based on therapeutic enzymes or cytokines is the product of more than a decade of research and represents a major advance directed toward the multi-billion-dollar market for PEGylated proteins," and "Our recent publications illustrating the advantages of PharmaPEG-protein conjugates, compared with conventional mPEG-protein conjugates, are expected to reach a wide audience of pharmaceutical professionals, including those attending the Biotechnology International Organization Conference ("BIO 2012") in Boston." Based on its history, it seems as though MVP has many more ground breaking ideas for the future.

California Based AVT Announces Patent for Remote Vending Machine Technology

June 12, 2012,

vending-machine.jpgCalifornia - AVT, an industry leader in automated vending machine technology, announced today that it was awarded a patent for a newly developed vending machine technology. Among other things, patent 8,191,779 allows owners of computerized vending systems to control almost every aspect of their machine by remote access. There are a total of 19 claims in the patent including those which compile sales information, add advertising revenues to product sales, collect marketing analysis, and receive wireless payments from debit or credit cards, mobile phones or radio frequency identification. Additionally, the new technology includes touch screen interfaces and trouble-shoots potential mechanical or computer problems from remote locations.

Currently, it is estimated that there are over eight million vending machines being used across the United States. As such, the vending machine industry is the largest cash business in the U.S. and the most pervasive retail channel with the highest number of locations. However, unlike other leading industries, vending machines are the only retail channel that does not universally accept credit or debit card payments. Only two to three percent of machines accept cashless payment.

Historically, vending machine owners were plagued with problems accepting credit and debit cards because of a lack of reliable communication between credit card machines and servers. Consequently, transaction times were long and sometimes unreliable. In addition, there was no convenient way to supplement unit sales with advertising revenues. It is estimated that the addition of reliable credit card acceptance methods would increase vending machine sales by up to 40 percent. Moreover, industry experts say that the addition of cashless payment technology, such as the ones offered by AVT in its new patent, would allow owners of vending machines to offer higher-end merchandise, increase total sales per customer, eliminate vandalism and reduce theft.

Based in Corona, California and established in 1969, AVT is the leading developer of automated and self-service retailing systems. Its large portfolio of products includes LCD vending stores, automated retail offices and custom-vending services for gourmet coffees, office supplies, perfumes and high-end merchandise. Its unique vending machine solutions are intended to drive machine traffic, increase sales, improve security and lower company overhead. AVT stated that it has spent over three years and a significant amount of money developing the technology included in its latest patent. AVT is confident that its new technology will change the way consumers purchase vending machine products and redefine the automated retail industry.

Amarin Granted Patent for Key Pharmaceutical Composition

June 8, 2012,

blood-artery.jpgCalifornia - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent for Amarin Corporation's AMR101 last week. The field of pharmaceutical patents is hugely competitive and companies are constantly under pressure to develop new and more effective prescriptions. As such, AMR101 is a key product in the pharmaceutical company's portfolio. As a treatment for high triglycerides, AMR101 is currently undergoing FDA approval, with a decision due in July. In the meantime, Amarin has announced that its product has been successful in multiple Phase III trials. With such positive feedback and test results, AMR101 is primed for success in the marketplace. As a result, the outlook for FDA approval of AMR101 is also extremely positive.

Among the existing pharmaceutical companies, Amarin is in a particularly attractive position because of its current cash value and its prospects for production of many popular patents that have recently expired. Companies seeking to increase their market share of prescriptions can easily pick up production on these expired patents. In addition, there are a number of larger companies such as Pfizer, GlaxoSmith and Human Genome Sciences looking for partnerships. Amarin could easily partner with one of the larger companies and dramatically increase its market share in the field of biopharmaceuticals. Consequently, Amarin could be in prime market position to top the list of hot prospects in 2013 and beyond.

Amarin is a biopharmaceutical company focused primarily on improving treatment of cardiovascular disease. With its U.S. headquarters in Bedminster, New Jersey, Amarin has demonstrated a history of expertise in lipid science and the use of essential fatty acids in treating cardiovascular disease. The therapeutic benefits of AMR101 are intended for patents with high trigylcerides, who are also on statin therapy for elevated LDL-cholesterol levels. It is estimated that over 40 million people suffer from dangerously elevated levels of triglycerides. As a result of these elevated levels, patients have an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease, diabetes and obesity, among other problems. AMR101 is being positioned as a best-in-class prescription for treating these patients and offering them better health, free from diseases caused by elevated triglycerides.

Cohera Medical's Biodegradable Surgical Adhesive Awarded Patent

June 5, 2012,

medical_instruments.jpgCalifornia - Cohera Medical announced today that it has been awarded a patent for its hydrophilic biodegradable adhesives. Hydrophilic biodegradable adhesive products both absorb and dissolve in water, and are highly useful in surgical applications where traditional methods of stitching and stapling may not be as desirable.

The range of products included in the patent cover Cohera's product offerings in surgical adhesive products that are extremely strong, completely synthetic and resorbable by human tissues. Patent number 8,182,647 further involves a broad spectrum of adhesive products including TissuGlu®, a product designed for large flap tissue approximation. The current patent also includes products designed for numerous clinical applications and allows for multiple strengths and cure properties. Such non-traditional adhesive products can be used as alternatives in plastic and aesthetic surgeries such as stomach stapling, tummy tucks, and other cosmetic procedures.

Cohera is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based medical device company with secondary offices in The Netherlands. The medical adhesives company has long held the mission of creating products that improve patient care and quality of life. To that end, Cohera Medical has created a line of products alternative to traditional stitching and stapling methods that are designed for ease of use in the operating theater. In particular, Cohera specializes in adhesive products designed to assist plastic and aesthetic surgeons in a number of procedures reducing or eliminating the need for surgical drains. Cohera's primary adhesive products form a strong and durable bond between tissues, and are resorbable and biocompatible for either internal or external use. Furthermore, Cohera's products are unique from most other products in the market because the ingredients are not human or animal based.

Cohera began selling its tissue adhesive products, including TissuGlu, in Europe after obtaining CE Mark approval in 2011. The range of Cohera products have been successfully used in a wide variety of surgical procedures in Germany over the last year. Cohera Medical's wide range of adhesive products are also currently being used in Europe for such procedures as bowel anastomoses and hernia mesh fixation. The same products, along with a number of new creations, are currently undergoing the process of U.S. Clinical Trials and patent approval.