We are again excited to welcome thought leader Dr. Stephen Tedeschi as a guest blogger. Dr. Tedeschi, is a Partner at PatentVantage, a leading patent research and strategy firm. He is also an Adjunct Faculty member at the National Institute of Health’s Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES). For more on Dr. Tedeschi, please see below.

Please be sure to check out Part 1 of this blog series.


Why Searching Patents for Non-Text Information is Crucial

Better Patent SearchingMechanical, chemical, and life sciences patents in particular, pose their own challenges to searching.  In all of these technologies, inventions can be described in ways that are not searchable through text-based interfaces.  For example, these technologies may be disclosed as images, Markush structures, or Gene sequences.  None of this information is effectively text searchable, if at all.  The ability to search them is created by database providers through the addition of indexing and other value added cross-referencing.  This type of manual curation takes time and often means paying to access the curated data, but effective searching is nearly impossible without it.

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We are excited to welcome thought leader Dr. Stephen Tedeschi as a guest blogger. Dr. Tedeschi, is a Partner at PatentVantage, a leading patent research and strategy firm. He is also an Adjunct Faculty member at the National Institute of Health’s Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES). For more on Dr. Tedeschi, please see below.


patent researchIn every stage of innovation, knowledge of current and previous research is critical to developing a clear direction to progress forward. From inception, to basic research, to development, to sales, to product protection, reviewing both patent and technical literature published globally will greatly influence your ability to make technical, legal, and business decisions. It is particularly important at the beginning of the innovation lifecycle, when scientists and engineers are planning a research project. Missing critical prior research can result in repeating others’ research, including unsuccessful projects, not knowing solutions to common challenges already encountered, and losing ownership of any products or licenses resulting from the research already patented. All too often, I’ve seen scenarios where the missing information was readily available in a patent. Here are just a few examples.

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Sequence-and-Targets-picWhen you work with DNA or protein sequences, inevitably, you’re going to run into the challenge of finding similar biological sequences that have been listed in patents. In most cases, you’re likely to know specific mutations at specific positions that you want to search for. The challenge is, how do you define a query that delivers a manageable set of results?

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After the United States Supreme Court ruling in the Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics in June of 2013, the industry scurried. The Court ruled that naturally occurring DNA is not patent eligible even if isolated, but cDNA or “complementary DNA” is because it is not naturally occurring but rather a product of the laboratory scientist even though it is exactly the same nucleic acid information.

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Update: GQ-Pat now has over 334 million sequences

Back in July we reported that there were 300 million sequences in GQ-Pat, including 256 million nucleotide sequences and over 45 million protein sequences.  And these protein sequences aren’t just automated translations of nuceotides like TrEMBL. All of these sequences are in fact found in patents and patent applications from patent authorities around the world.

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biosimilar drugsAbout a week ago, the FTC filed a suit against Endo Pharmaceuticals (among others) for blocking generic competition of its Opana ER and Lidoderm products. It is alleging that in addition to paying to delay competitive products, Endo used a no-AG commitment that gave Watson Laboratories more than 7 months of their own monopoly on the market during which Endo would not compete.

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It’s hard not to notice that the future is arriving faster than ever. Innovations are arriving at breakneck speed. In just the last couple of years we have seen things like self-driving cars, software that beats Jeopardy!, bipedal robots that can navigate difficult terrain just like humans do, and a very convincing defeat of one of the world’s best Go players by Google’s DeepMind technology. These are all things that knowledgeable people predicted would still be decades away, yet they are all happening right now. Why is that, and what does that have to do with your IP strategy?

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