The 2014 BIO International Convention begins this week in San Diego. If you are planning on attending, you probably already know that the amount of information and opportunities available at BIO can be daunting. Therefore, Patent Docs has been highlighting a few sessions or other opportunities, in thematic fashion, to help you navigate your way through the convention. For example, today, we focus on presentations by influential leaders in the Intellectual Property Community. Of course, Patent Docs authors and contributors will be present at BIO as part of the MBHB contingent, and Patent Docs readers are encouraged to stop by the MBHB booth to discuss these sessions (or whatever other topic is of interest to you) (#1337).
In the United States, two of the entities that have the most impact on U.S. patent practice are the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. And, on the global scale, it can be argued that no organization has more impact on international patent practice than the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO"). Impressively, BIO will feature at least three current or recent leaders of these three organizations. Therefore, attendees will be able to gain insight from the individuals that play (or have played) a major role in each of these three organizations.
First on our list, Judge Randall R. Rader of the Federal Circuit will be providing his view from the bench on recent developments in biotech patent law in the courts and in Congress. This session will be on Wednesday, June 25, from 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM for the Intellectual Property track. Judge Rader recently stepped down from his position as Chief Judge, and was succeeded by now Chief Judge Sharon Prost. Moreover, five days after his presentation at BIO, on June 30, Judge Rader will be retiring from the court. The title of his presentation is aptly named "Welcome and Farewell -- Judge Randall R. Rader." Judge Rader has also been outspoken on the issue of using § 285 fee-shifting as a mechanism for federal courts to combat patent trolls. It will be interesting to see what he has to say on the recent legislative efforts aimed at the same goal. Along those lines, there will be a separate session later that day at 1:45 PM to 2:45 PM on these Congressional efforts. The title of that session will be "As if AIA Hasn't Brought Enough Change -- Patent Litigation Reform is Looming in the US."
Next up, literally, Acting Director Michelle Lee will participate in a session immediately following Judge Rader, from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM, June 25, entitled "View from the USPTO -- Address by Acting Director Michelle Lee and Discussion of the Myriad-Mayo Guidelines." Anyone following this blog knows how controversial those guidelines have been, so it will be interesting to hear the perspective of the acting director herself on the issue. With her will be two additional representatives from the patent office, June Cohan, Legal Advisor, and Andrew Hirshfeld, Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy. They promise to provide the latest thinking on the examination guidelines, and take questions and feedback from the audience. The period for submitting comments to the Office on these guidelines is still open, and in fact has been extended to July 31, 2014. Those attendees interested in this topic might also be interested in the session "Patent Eligibility from the Trenches: Practical Implications of the Supreme Court's Mayo and Myriad Decisions" on June 25, from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The panel for this session includes former Acting Director of the USPTO Teresa Stanek Rea.
Finally (or should we say initially?), Director General Francis Gurry of WIPO will be kicking off the Intellectual Property track on Tuesday, June 24, from 2:15 PM to 2:45 PM. The Director General will be discussing WIPO activities and their impact on the biotechnology sector. Just last month, the member states of WIPO appointed Director General Gurry by consensus to a second six-year term of office. Immediately preceding this presentation, there will be an Intellectual Property Meetup in the "IP Social Spot" from 1:30 PM to 2:15 PM. This Meetup will provide intellectual property professionals to mingle and kick-off the track.
Be on the look-out for the next installment of BIO 2014 previews in the next few days.