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Patent Jaw

September 7, 2010

Much of the news in the world of intellectual property has concerned the recent ruling that qui tam plaintiffs have grounds to sue for false marking under 35 U.S.C. § 292.

Another hot topic is the new guidance issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office regarding obviousness standards for claimed inventions.  Based on the outcome of the 2007 Supreme Court case KSR v. Teleflex, this guidance reflects a move to more loosely interpret the standards for obviousness, as outlined in 35 U.S.C. § 103.

But in this week’s New York Times Magazine, an article by author Andrew Rice, called “The Peanut Solution,” raises a different question: are there inventions to which patent law should not apply?  Citing conflict over patented AIDS drugs and their lack of accessibility where they are needed most, Rice says that patents “are meant to offer incentives to innovators by giving them a time-limited right to exclusively exploit their ideas for profit. But many say that lifesaving products should be treated by a different set of rules.”

Keep up with the latest opinions in patent laws by searching key words in the “Intellectual Property” practice area of our Law Firm Memos page.

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