New York, 10 May 2004
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an Order granting the Public Patent Foundation's Request for Reexamination of a key patent on cotransformation, a process for inserting foreign DNA into a host cell to produce certain proteins that is the basis for a wide range of pharmaceutical products, including Epogen® for anemia, Activase® for heart attacks and stroke, Avonex® for multiple sclerosis, and Recombinate® for hemophilia. In its Order, the Patent Office found that PUBPAT's request raised "a substantial new question of patentability" regarding every claim of the patent.
The patent holder, Columbia University, now has the opportunity to make an opening statement to the Patent Office, to which PUBPAT has the right to make a response. After opening statements, the Patent Office will proceed to determine whether the patent is indeed invalid in light of the new questions raised by PUBPAT's request. Third party requests for reexamination, like the one filed by PUBPAT, are successful in having the subject patent either narrowed or completely revoked roughly 70% of the time.
"We are obviously very pleased with the Patent Office's decision to grant our request to reexamine the Axel cotransformation patent," said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT's Executive Director and Founder. "This is the first step towards ending the harm being caused to the public by this patent that never should have been issued."
More information about the Request for Reexamination, including a copy of the Patent Office's Order Granting the request, can be found at PUBPAT Activities > Protecting the Public Domain.
The Public Patent Foundation ("PUBPAT") is a not-for-profit legal services organization working to protect the public from the harms caused by the patent system. PUBPAT provides the general public, particularly those persons or businesses otherwise deprived of access to the system governing patents, with representation, advocacy, and education. To be kept informed of PUBPAT News, subscribe to the PUBPAT News List by sending an email with "subscribe" in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.