Saturday, June 21, 2008

Patent devaluation at BIO in San Diego?

Of BIO, RedOrbit discussed the words of the San Diego Union-Tribune, which declared in a Page 1 story earlier this week that ethanol from corn was "yesterday's news."

A second generation of biofuels created from the likes of switchgrass is emerging as a key ethanol source for the future, the newspaper said.

And the Ardmore-based Noble Foundation has invested its scientific research heavily in developing a type of switchgrass that can be grown easily, cultivated and converted into ethanol. The foundation recently planted a 1,000-acre test plot in the Panhandle and has another 114 acres planted near Maysville.

RedOrbit mentioned Steve Burrill:

In a "state-of-the-industry" report to about 1,500 participants at the BIO show before the exhibition hall opened Wednesday morning [June 18], industry analyst Steve Burrill described the key role that agriculture and biofuels play in the biotechnology sector.

"Ag bio is with us and is being very, very successful," Burrill said. "In the last year you couldn't have read a newspaper anywhere in the world without being aware that biofuels are transforming the nature of the fossil fuel world."

How industry has been shaken

The biofuels industry has undergone a "little bit of a shakeout" because the cost of production and fuel needed to produce it has driven investment away from corn-based ethanol, Burrill said.

"We see not only large amounts of ethanol, but cellulosic (switchgrass) biofuels becoming the real future," Burrill said. "We are very concerned today about exploiting the food crops for fuel, and there is a backlash going on because of that. We need to be engaged in dialogue that we are not part of the problem in the food crisis but part of the solution."

There was no mention of alternatives, for example, like those of Coskata.
GM aligns with Coskata on cellulosic ethanol; good plan or Exxon's Reliance re-visited?

Contemplate also the work of Lonnie Ingram.

Californiastemcellreport also mentioned Burrill at BIO on the pharma area:

Say goodbye to those blockbuster, high-margin drugs. Hello to even more generics. Consumers will drive the market. Big Pharma, already suffering the anguish of expiring patents, will suffer more. Can you spell patent devaluation, he basically asked his audience. The biopharmaceutical industry will have to be re-invented. He said:

"Our friends in Pharma are in deep yogurt."

Could this explain CIRM's fumbling with its own IP policy, and the hiring of a not-registered patent attorney to give it IP advice?


See Patent Docs post, Docs at BIO: Panel Discusses IP Strategies after KSR which mentioned a panel on KSR comprised of Eric Marandett, a Partner at Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP; Kerry Flynn, Vice President, Intellectual Property and Licensing for Shire Human Genetic Therapies, Inc.; Dr. Christine Bellon, Senior Patent Counsel and Director of Intellectual Property for Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and Dr. Hans Sauer, the Associate General Counsel of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

There was text: With respect to recent biopharma obviousness cases, Ms. Flynn stated that 30 decisions have been issued since KSR (16 pharma cases and 14 biotech cases). In those cases, the patentee prevailed 60.9% of the time and the accused infringer prevailed 39.1% of the time.


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