Seven Years in Visa Land

    31/03/2016

    Last week I finally received my green card after a seven year wait. Overjoyed and grateful as I am to be a permanent resident now in the US, with a legal ability to pursue my own career and travel more freely, my long journey navigating the immigration system can only be described as kafkaesque and reminiscent of that famous Samuel Beckett play, "Waiting for Godot". The difference between having a green card and having a visa in the US is, as this articleput it, the difference between bondage and freedom. Most foreign workers at universities and companies depend on the H1B visa as a lifeline to sustain their legal status in the US and to be allowed to begin the green card application. You are tied by the proverbial ball and chain to your employer, for better or worse. As a British citizen I should have been able to acquire my green card approval relatively easily. However, being born in mainland China, I was sent to the back of the line to wait in the "Priority Date" category. The USCIS system (short for United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) grants only so many visa numbers every year to immigrants from mainland China, India, Mexico and the Phillipines. What's worse is that you are categorized not by your current citizenship but by your birth certificate. You could have spent your entire childhood and adult life in one country but because you happen to have been born in one that is blacklisted your immigration to the US will have to wait. At the last visa bulletin, the favorite webpage of all those unfortunate enough to have been born in the "wrong country", the backlog for applications extended back as far as 13 years for certain petition categories in China and as far as 1993 for the Phillipines.

    In spite of my delay I know that I am among the more fortunate. I had a mother already living in the US to file a petition for me. I also submitted my own petition, through the National Interest Waiver (NIW) system. This requires you to be a published, active academic researcher and be fully employed in your chosen field at the time your petition gets reviewed. There is still a backlog for the blacklisted countries, but the wait time is shorter. I have many Chinese and Indian friends who have submitted an NIW petition and are currently still trapped in the priority date bureaucracy. Like many of us they have families, children, bills and expenses to pay for, futures they want to plan and years of productivity they could be contributing to the economy. But they are all being held back by USCIS and by politics. Last year I came across the unfortunate story of Tamer Elsayed, whose situation was featured in Science Magazine. He took out a federal student loan to try and fund his studies as a mechanical engineer in California before he had acquired a green card. It is illegal to take out federal loans before you are a permanent resident. Despite eventually earning a PhD at Caltech, his subsequent imprisonment and ban from visiting the US led to a slew of difficulties finding a stable faculty position in his native Egypt and visiting his daughter in America. Admittedly his ignorance and youthful rashness led to the worst case scenario. But there are many other harrowing stories about scientists not being able to stay or leave the US because of their visa status.

    There are easier paths to getting a green card, such as getting married to a US citizen yourself, or joining the armed forces for a period of time. These options, however, were not on the cards for me and nor are they for many of my colleagues working away everyday in the lab. I previously wrote about this very unfair struggle that foreign academics face here on my blog. In spite of the best intentions of many Fortune 500 company CEOs (e.g. Mark Zuckerburg) and a growing number of senators, the pressing issues of US immigration reform for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) professionals remains buried under the rug. Our issues lay hidden beneath a cacaphony of politically charged headlines featuring illegal immigration. The numbers are against us - there are 11.7 million illegal immigrants in the US and only around 10,000 foreign PhD students graduating from US institutions every year. Last year just over 340,000 foreign workers filed for an H1B visa and only around 275,000 people were granted it. The year before that, in 2014, over 318,000 people filed and 315,000 people were granted it. The time taken for an H1B visa to be approved has also increased from 3-4 months to half a year. Why this slowdown? Well, take your pick from the panoply of issues, such the increased perceived fear of foreign terror attacks, the worsening drug war over the American border and the political dysfunction in Washington DC. But when you really look at the breakdown of foreign H1B visa applicants you realize that over 41% have a Masters degree, 9% have a Doctorate and over 45% have at least a Bachelors degree. That's a huge number of people who are likely to be of value to the national interest.

    In the run up to this year's bizarre presidential elections and the knee-jerk rhetoric thrown around about walling off Mexico and banning asylum for Muslim refugees, I feel that it is timely I have received my green card. Not only does it give me a unique perspective on the absurdity of candidate debates over immigration, it also means it will now be harder for the authorities to deport me. There is no telling what the new president and administration will really do, whoever wins the election, but the probability that they will throw a wrench into the already overwhelmed immigration system is pretty high. That means, along with the undocumented immigrants, STEM immigrants could face even longer wait times for a permanent residence application and, potentially even longer years of underpaid work. In a way one could rephrase Donald Trump's now famous rhetoric "Who will pay for the wall ... Mexico" to apply it to academic research: "Who will pay for the grunt lab work ... Foreign scientists". The latter will be more true than the former.

    I understand the importance of homeland security and providing better jobs for the citizens of one's own country. Companies cheating Americans out of highly paid tech jobs by replacing them with cheaper foreign workers on visas crop up all the time (I'm lookin at you, Microsoft!). Clearly there are issues at stake on a national level bigger than the cries and sorrows of a few scientists. But since the backbone of America was built by immigrants, the spirit of America was founded by embracing immigrants and the founders of America were immigrants themselves, surely America needs to maintain at least some semblance of her old values by overhauling the immigration system in the 21st century. To quote the Statue of Liberty poem, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" seems antiquated today, when there is so much wealth disparity in all nations. But if there are well intentioned scientists, doctors and engineers knocking on your door, just to get a chance at improving the lives of the poor in your homeland, then why not let them in more quickly. Otherwise, those very same people will quickly run back to their home countries making their developing nations disproportinately more competitive. That surely is the biggest threat to US homeland security.

    That piece John Oliver did in 2014 on the broken state of the American immigration system is now more relevant than ever before:

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      Photography Website

    01/01/2016

    website

    I have created a new photography website: www.shenlinphotolab.com. I want to catalogue some of the best photos taken on my journeys around the world. Please feel free to have a browse around, suggest any changes or even order some prints!

     

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      Restimulating the Party

    22/12/2015

    Picture from Science Magazine, 2013

    Two years ago, during the political standoff that saw the Federal Government shut down, Congress agreed to an across-the-board budget cut of $38 billion domestically, known as Sequestration. The fall out included a $1.7 billion cut to the annual budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $700 million form the National Science Foundation (NSF). These agencies fund the majority of university level laboratory research, which bring money to principle investigators who can then lead scientists, such as yours truly, to do the work. Luckily my PI and every other scientist in our department weathered this storm and I was able to stay on in the lab. Our funding comes mostly from non-government, non-profit agencies which are unaffected by federal budgets. In the months following the announcement of these cuts I remember seeing a chorus of lamentation from academic scientists in the news, blogs and online forums as they saw their research money slashed and their labs shut down. The director of the NIH, Francis Collins, went into a frenzy of activity begging for Congress and the Senate to put a end to these budget cuts. Now, in 2015, Congress has announced a $2 billion increase for the NIH and $200 million for the NSF in the next fiscal year. They have also set aside increased budgets for other medical agencies, including the FDA, CDC and new initiatives, such as Precision Medicine, BRAIN initiative and antibiotics initiative. This rise in federal funding has not been seen for over a decade and has been heralded as a sign of come back for biomedical research. However, the stimulus does not allow the NIH to keep up with inflation and, according to Francis Collins, does not help replace the 22% loss in purchasing power that the agency has suffered since 2003. The upshot is that there are still people out there in Washington's Senate and House who believe in continuing our cause to push basic academic biomedical research. The downshot is that public funding for our field is unlikely to ever return to its glory day. Perhaps then, the answer to all our funding problems, not surprisingly, lies in the illusive private sector industry.

    From STAT news online:

    STAT

     

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      Start Talking Science

    21/09/2015

    Next week I will be presenting a poster at Start Talking Science at the Drexel Academy of Natural Sciences. I will be talking to the public about the use of viruses to treat spinal cord injury and the different types of injury models we study in the lab of George Smith at Temple University. The Smith lab has been at the forefront of engineering viruses to infect and study neurons for decades so it seems like an obvious topic to make a talk. I love studying viruses. Aside from their huge potential as potent and precise agents of genetic engineering, viruses are themselves very interesting since they are nature's original nanoparticles that can bring about death or life. Since most of my work is still preliminary and I am not ready to publish it, I decided to put together a poster explaining the broad concepts in our field. Here is an advanced preview of my poster:

    This will be the second ever annual Start Talking Science showcase in which scientists from around Philadelphia can engage the public with research projects they are working on. I must take my hat off to the founder of this event, Christina Love, an astrophysicist from Drexel, for having the audacity to bring this show together. Having organized the Pint of Science festival in Philadelphia for the previous two years I know how much effort is put into promoting something like this. I also admire the "peer review" style poster workshops that we were all given. Sometimes it is so much more useful to get two people from outside your profession critique your work and advise you on how to do a presentation than to sit through an entire traditional journal club and field questions from your own peers.

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      A Journey into my Genome - Tentative steps into Personalized Medicine

    29/08/2015

    Genome

    I have been suffering from spontaneous bouts of diarrhea and loose stool. Bear with me, this will get more interesting. In the past I have taken pride in being able to eat what I want without gaining or losing a single ounce of weight. My medical checkups have always given me a clean slate of health and after testing my stool samples with the gastroenterologist he could find nothing wrong. But with the increased frequency of bowl movements and weight loss I knew something in my body was not right. I did a self-diagnosis by looking up the symptoms I had on the internet - a last resort when no diagnosis exists. After a few google and pubmed searches I concluded I probably have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS, it turns out, is an illusive disorder with no known causes or treatments. Yet there are hundreds of speculative therapies, ranging from changing your gut bacteria with probiotics to taking anti-depressants to changing to a low FODMAP diet.

    In my quest to find the root cause of my IBS symptoms and to nail down a practical therapy I decided for the first time to sequence my own genome and microbiome. As a consumer I am faced with a panoply of choices for personal health diagnostics, some of which are more expensive and reliable than others. A few blogs ago I wrote about the burgeoning industry of direct-to-consumer pharmacogenomics companies that have sprouted up in the last few years. Some of them have gotten into serious trouble because they violated medicare contracts and lacked regulatory oversight. In spite of this I still think direct-to-consumer diagnostic testing is an excellent way for maintaining a modern healthy life style tailored to you and finding the best dose of the most adequate drug when treating a disorder. Given the high costs of medical insurance and novel prescription drugs it also allows us to get a more informed decision about the treatments we take instead of solely relying on doctors' opinions. I went with the cheaper diagnostic options and decided to use 23andMe to sequence my genome and Ubiome to sequence my microbiome. Here is my experience with using the two services:

    23andMe

    This was one of the first DNA analysis companies to emerge in the US and is considered relatively reliable. I placed an order for $99 and they sent me a test sample for my saliva. I then registered my sample online for an account to store my data and sent off my saliva sample. The lab sequences my DNA using microarray chips. After around 6 weeks they posted my DNA data onto the account. The data generated consists of pairs of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from all of my genes. SNPs are common nucleotide changes inside all our genes that occur in over 1% of the population that serve as a kind of fingerprint. A detailed explanation of SNPs can be found here. Although 23andMe used to provide customers with both ancestry and medical results, the FDA sent a warning letter recently banning them from continuing to publish medical disease data. Now they just process your ancestry and family heritage data.

    23andMe Home Page:

    23andMe

    In order to acquire medical data I signed up separately for Promethease, paying $5 to upload my data straight from my 23andMe account. Promethease gives me a detailed view of which diseases or traits I am more at risk for and which ones I am less likely to have according to my SNPs. The results can be viewed in a search index based on the gene, disease, frequency of SNP occurrence with that disease and other parameters depending on what you look for. If a disease is more likely to be associated with that particular SNP, the box will be shaded pink, along with the explanation. If a positive trait or resistance to a disease is associated with that particular SNP, it will be shaded green. You can also search for potential side-effects of various common drugs on the market when you take them with your genotype. Much of the data can be edited by anyone and is dependent on SNPedia - a wiki that allows people to share information about variations in DNA, citing peer-reviewed scientific literature. Thus the results for each gene shows you the number of references that cite the association of the gene or SNP with the disease.

    An example of a Promethease page displaying an individual's genes, SNPs and information associated with those particular SNPs. Green boxes represent possible good news, red boxes for possible bad news:

    Ubiome

    This diagnostics company sends you swabs to sample microbes in your gut, mouth, skin, nose and genitalia. Since there are billions of microorganisms in the human body, the combination of which outnumber our own cells, they are essential for every process in our lives, including digesting food, regulating mood and preventing diseases. I paid $127 for a bacteria test on two parts of the body - a gut test by swabbing my toilet tissue after going to the bathroom and a mouth test by swabbing the insides of my cheeks. I registered my samples online for an account to store my data, sent off the samples and waited around 4 weeks for them to upload the results. From my samples the lab sequences bacterial DNA, analyze the most common types of bacteria and compile them into graphs comparing my results to that of other populations. I can see how my bacteria differ from the average bacterial content of vegetarians, omnivores, alcoholics, men, women and other groups. I also set up a system of recurring orders to re-test my microbiome every month as I change my diet or life style. The ability to re-test your bacteria provides a way to “life-hack” your way into a better diet or health outcome. An example can be found here.

    Ubiome Home page:

    Ubiome

    An example of an individual's Ubiome analysis showing the percentage of each type of most commonly occurring bacteria at that site:

    As sexy and cool as it might seem to have your entire genome and microbiome sequenced with hip start-up companies, it pays to remember that none of these diagnostic tests are 100% accurate and the interpretation of this data can be sketchy given the lack of scientific literature from medical research and from controlled clinical trials. Both these self-diagnostics companies have blogs and social media sites. Both allow individual users to provide feedback about their experience using the services and to report any correlations they notice about their personalized data with their actual health. Each of these sites have additional initiatives, often in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, which encourage customers to voluntarily submit their samples for clinical research data.

    My Results

    The results of these tests are now back and the amount of data they gave me seems, at first, overwhelming. Bearing all this in mind, here are some results about my propensity for Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

    The promeathease search generated information about my propensity for Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). IBD includes Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, which are commonly associated with, but much more severe than IBS. Many of the symptoms of IBS, such as diarrhea and constipation often lead to intestinal disorders of IBD, but not always. Most genetic studies associated with IBD and IBS have revealed issues with inflammatory mediators that attack the intestinal lining, preventing proper food digestion. Often these inflammatory mediators are activated due to an immune response against the body's own intestinal epithelia due to stress, cortisol or over stimulation of the enteric nervous system. According to Promeathease my SNPs for the genes rs1861494, rs11209026, rs1373692, rs11747270, rs8050910, rs6426833, rs224136 put me in a higher risk of developing IBD. However, my SNP for gene rs1992660 places me in a lower risk for Crohn’s disease, which places me at a lower risk for IBS.

    My first results from Ubiome are very rudimentary. Their analysis only showed the presence of two types of bacteria in my gut: Fermicutes and Bacteroidetes. Out of the billions of possibilities, there is no mention of any other bacteria species. According to their explanation, Bacteroidetes and Fermicutes are the most common types of gut bacteria in people with Western diets. People with more Fermicutes and less Bacteroidetes are likely to digest dietary fat better. Interestingly, from my mouth sample the analysis generated 6 types of bacteria. These included Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Fusobacteria, Actinobacteria and Tenericutes. Proteobacteria is most commonly found in people with IBS so its presence in my mouth gives me some explanation as to my symptoms. Actinobacteria is supposed to be a "Good Bacteria" commonly found in probiotic supplements and also more commonly found in women. An increase in this bacteria could help reduce IBS.

    Overall there is still no magic bullet to treat IBS. I have to watch my food intake and perhaps switch to fermented foods with more probiotic "Good Bacteria". Despite the use of these self-diagnostic tools to generate huge amounts of genomic data I am unable to find an underlying cause or treatment for IBS. What these tests have shown me is that there are ways to change my life style in future according to my genetic and microbial make-up and as more clinical research becomes published, I can be more certain about ways to improve my health.

    23andMe has revealed a treasure trove of data about a host of other diseases I could be susceptible to as well as many disorders I am more resistant to. I want to write about some of these traits in the days to come. In the mean time, if you are interested in improving your nutrition and have sequenced your genome, there is a fantastic video by Rhonda Patrick explaining which SNPs you should look for in yourself and which foods you should eat to live longer.

     

     

     

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      The Limits of Biotechnology Inventions in Patent Eligibility

    24/07/2015

    Nature Biotech Patents

    Over the last 10 weeks I have done a bit of reading into the world of pharmaceutical and biotech patents and I have come to realize a few truths about the subject.  There appears to be a looming crisis in the pharmaceutical industry as efforts to apply for and maintain eligible patents are increasingly being thwarted.  The US Supreme Court has decided to strike down many patent validity appeals for biotechnology products in the past three years after they arrived at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). 

    At issue is that case law defines an eligible patent to be “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof” under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  However, the law is vague when it comes to defining eligibility of patents which fall under laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas.  The bulk of modern biotechnology and pharmaceutical innovations are likely to fall into these narrowly defined categories, which, while not patentable under strict interpretation, have extremely useful applications that do merit eligibility.  For example, a recent application (Patent Application No. 20140194345) was rejected despite being a potentially life saving treatment for antibiotic resistance in lethal bacterial infections.  Inventors in biotech companies must put a lot of energy and resources into a discovery.  However, when the final patent is deemed a mere law of nature, natural phenomenon or abstract idea, patent protection is lost and pricing decisions become controlled by the market, leaving inventors unable to recuperate their financial losses.

    Recent examples of the Supreme Court’s decisions invalidating patents for this very reason include:

    1. Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., 566 U.S. ­­­___, 132 S.Ct. 1289 (2012).  The courts invalidated the patent claim of using 6-thioguanine as an indicator of whether a drug dose should be modified.  They decided the indication could be defined as a natural phenomenon.

    2. Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 2107 (2013).  The courts ruled that isolating genomic DNA associated with BRCA genes in breast cancer was not an act of invention because DNA is naturally occuring.  However, cDNA, which lacks the non-coding regions of genomic DNA, was held to be patentable because it is synthesized outside the body.

    3. Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014).  The courts ruled against patent eligibility for 4 patents concerning electronic methods, computer systems, and program code because they were considered abstract ideas.

     

    Each of these Supreme Court decisions spurred the USPTO to issue a new set of guidelines setting forth rules on patent eligibility.  A new study, by Gaudry, Grab & McKeon (contributors to IP Watchdog) carried out careful statistical analysis of the Supreme Court decisions on patent eligibility rejections under 35 U.S.C. § 101 over the last three years.  The results cast a grim shadow on the pharmaceutical industry.  They show a trend in the courts to increasingly reject patent eligibility from “select art unit groups” including molecular biology, immunology and protein chemistry technologies.  That means, from the time of the Mayo case in 2012 until 2015, there has been a steady rise in patent rejections from 11.2% to 32.5%.  Furthermore, the number of patent claim appeals for biotechnology inventions has risen by 25% over the last three years, suggesting that it is getting harder to secure a patent.  The study then found that following 35 U.S.C. § 101 rejections, firms usually did not appeal to the Patent Trial Appeal Board because the rapid new changes issued by USPTO guidance documents dis-incentivize companies from doing so.

    Graph showing percentages of patent office actions (OAs).  OAs issued during the time period that included a Supreme Court 35 U.S.C. § 101 rejection were calculated for each art unit group in TC 1600.  Art unit groups 1640, 1650 and 1660 (red box) focus on molecular biology, immunology and protein chemistry technologies.  The proportion of OAs with rejections have increased subsequent to each Supreme Court ruling and guideline publication.  Graph made by Gaudry, Grab & McKeon LLC:

    trends

    What does this mean for the biotech inventor?

    In spite of the doom and gloom in patent validity judgments, it is important to keep an eye out on patent reform and to push the agenda for patent protection for essential medical innovations when possible.  A few years ago President Obama signed the America Invents Act (AIA) into law which helped align the US patent system with modern day requirements.  This legislation has instituted sweeping reform into patent applications, including the “first to file” provision which protects the first inventor who files the patent.  In recent months four other major proposals for patent reform have been under consideration by Congress.  These include the Innovation Act, The TROL Act, the STRONG Patents Act and the PATENT Act.  Each of these acts, if approved by Congress, will serve to ease the burden of the patent review system and reduce the number of litigations in future providing a more just and verdant patent protection system.  It is hoped that one day the Supreme Court can be convinced by some of these new reforms to allow a broader definition of patent validity to cover biotech patents.

    Reference:

    http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2015/07/08/the-looming-patent-nightmare-facing-the-pharmaceutical-industry/id=51428/

    http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2015/07/12/trends-in-subject-matter-eligibility-for-biotechnology-inventions/id=59738/

    http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2015/05/07/patent-reform-101-a-primer-on-pending-patent-legislation/id=57529/

     

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      The Longest Patent Extension Battle in History

    17/07/2015

    The Medicines Company

    This week a pharmaceutical company named The Medicines Company (MDCO) made news once again, fighting a losing battle for the rights to its patented drug.  This is a warning story that has been told many times before by patent lawyers regarding inventions, even serving as a punch line in books such as “Don’t File a Patent!”  The saga began way back in December 2000 when MDCO filed a patent term extension (PTE) request for its anticoagulant drug Angiomax (bilvalirudin) U.S. Patent No. 5,196,404

    The right to file a PTE is codified under the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984 to help companies retain market exclusivity for their products because of time lost in the early years developing and testing a new drug as well as time taken at the end of drug development waiting for NDA review approval.  Since a patent only lasts 20 years and it takes up to 15 years to bring a drug to the market, companies often require patent extensions to remain competitive.  Under the patent term extension rules of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) 35 USC 156, a company can file a PTE within 60 days of receiving FDA approval for a drug.  However, MDCO’s PTE request arrived at the USPTO on the 61st day (Feb 2001) by a stroke of bad luck.  After many years of appeal to the District Courts for the recognition of the PTE, MDCO repeatedly got denied.

    In 2010, when MDCO’s patent expired, they found themselves in an infringement lawsuit with a generic company named APP who filed an ANDA for the generic version of bilvarudin.  The US Court of Appeals heard the motion from APP and decided finally to settle the case in favor of MDCO, giving them the PTE for 1728 days.  This meant their patent was now extended from 2010 to December 2014. MDCO went on to sue its intellectual property consultants, Fish & Neave LLP and Ropes & Gray LLP for legal malpractice because they did not carefully calculate the PTE request deadline and made MDCO miss out on the crucial 60-day deadline.  MDCO won a summary judgment against the law firm and settled all its cases in 2012.  This was all well and good for the company at the time.

    However, MDCO has recently been embroiled in another lawsuit against a company named Hospira, who are ready to market its generic version of bilalvirudin.  Hospira was in charge of Ben Venue Laboratory, subcontracted by MDCO to manufacture bilvalirudin for many years.  Ben Venue Laboratories had used the patented methods, “adding a pH-adjusting solution during the compounding process minimize the Asp9-bivalirudin impurity to less than 0.6%” filed under US Patent 7,582,727 and 7,598,343 by MDCO. MDCO filed suit claiming that Ben Venue Laboratories used this method of manufacturing bivalrudin before the patent expiration and exploited the drug for marketing, committing a commercial violation.  When the case was reviewed by the District Court this time, they found that Ben Venue did not violate patent infringement and that MDCO’s claims were invalid under on-sale bar.  Thus MDCO will face a recurring situation where its pioneer drug is threatened in the market by a generic.  This time, the company will not be able to appeal for patent extension because its extra 1728 days have also expired.

    The moral of the story is to respect filing deadlines when submitting a patent and to choose your intellectual property lawyers wisely.  When filing a patent for the first time in preparation for marketing a product it is advisable to do some research in order to keep track of the filing dates and to keep ahead of the game.

    Don't file a patent

    Reference:

    The Medicines Company v APP and initial PTE denial

    http://www.patentdocs.org/2012/01/the-medicines-company-to-get-patent-term-extension.html

    The Medicines company v Hospira

    http://www.patentdocs.org/2015/07/the-medicines-company-v-hospira-fed-cir-2015.html

    When can you file a Patent Term Extension

    http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s2750.html

    Lawsuit against IP law firm

    http://www.law360.com/articles/589377/ropes-gray-sued-by-drugmaker-over-patent-filing-blunder

    On-sale bar

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On-sale_bar

     

     

 

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Previous Posts

Retiring the Mouse Model Gold Standard

Brexit Britain I weep for you

Surgeries

Seven Years in Visaland

Photo Website

Restimulating the Party

Start Talking Science

A Journey into my Genome

Patent Law IX, The Limits of Biotech Patents

Patent Law IX, The Longest Patent Extension Battle

Patent Law VIII, Invasion of Patent Trolls into Biotech

Patent Law VII, DTC Genomic Testing

Patent Law VI, Supreme Court and Laws of Nature

Patent Law V, The Dark Web

Patent Law IV, Gaming the Hatch-Waxman Act

Patent Law III, The Brave New World of Biosimilars

Patent Law II, The Everlasting Patent

Patent Law I, CRISPR-Cas9

FDA Law Intro

The Big Idea

Accountability for Retractions

Neuroscience Drugs

Locked-in Syndrome

SCI scar Inhibitor

Google-Calico

p-Hacking

Immigration

Neuropathic Pruritus

Mitochondrial Disease, 3 parent baby

Multiple Sclerosis and Axon Injury

Pint of Science Philadelphia

The Mesoscale Connectome

Tracing Neuronal Circuits

Pint of Science

Nano-symposium

The Brain Initiative

Two more online courses done

Fellowship Awarded

One week

Shriners Fellowship

PVA Fellowship

SfN Itinerary

Online Course Certificates

Systems Biology