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2013 Annual Meeting
The 2013 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia focused on the theme, “IP Matters in Every Deal.”
To Troll or Not to Troll? Legislative, Judicial and Market-Based Solutions
Patent trolls, non-practicing entities (NPEs), patent assertion entities (PAEs), patent monetization entities (PMEs) – whichever term you prefer – are organizations that exist for the sole purpose of licensing patents but do not manufacture products. There are strong opinions about these types of organizations, and organizations that license their IP to them – aka Privateers – and the impact of their activity on operating companies, innovation, and the economy. Some have even taken action against them, with one example being the SHIELD Act, a legislative initiative aimed at curbing NPE behavior. This panel, including diverse perspectives from operating companies, NPEs, and others, addressed legislative, judicial, ITC, and market-based solutions to the challenges NPEs pose, and also considered whether there is a problem in the first place.
License or Litigate?: Lessons Learned From Doing Deals Instead of Doing Battle
Panelists discussed the use of licensing in resolution of, or as an alternative to, litigation, and how to construct provisions in such agreements to avoid the pitfalls of recent judicial decisions and regulatory enforcement. The experts had been on the leading edge of Hatch-Waxman settlements and the use of Standards Essential Patents, and had a wealth of information to share on the proper preparation and use of those agreements. The tools and techniques for navigating this perilous territory are useful in all aspects of licensing, and to everyone engaged in writing agreements.
Richard Marsh, General Counsel of Myriad Genetics, discussed the genesis, evolution, and future of the company, interspersed with lessons learned in bringing a life sciences company from concept to reality. This included a discussion of Myriad's more notable, or innovative, deals with companies of varying size, and a practical discussion of how those deals were structured and leveraged to give the parties mutual competitive advantage to promote the progress of the useful arts and improve the human condition.
Myriad's Supreme Court case was also discussed, as the decision had far-reaching implications for the life sciences industry, and affected patentability for a wide variety of products, from those things arguably derived of nature to software.