In Defense of Patenting

by McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

Machlup, FritzFritz Machlup (at right), an economist, once said that if we didn't have a patent system it would be irresponsible to recommend one, but since we have one, it would be irresponsible to abolish it.  An Economic Review of the Patent System (Subcomm. on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights of the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, Study No. 15, 85th Cong., 2d Sess. (Comm. Print 1958)).  Today, we are in the interesting position of having many groups, from high tech companies and industry to non-governmental organizations, both foreign and domestic arguing for policies that would diminish if not abolish the patent system.  This is ironic, because the U.S. over the past thirty years has made the patent system more transparent, uniform and in harmony with other nations' patent systems, and both the economy and society have benefited.

Which is not to say that the system is perfect -- far from it.  As a human institution perfection is impossible.  But the motivations of many challenging the patent system should also be open to critical review, if only to establish that the alternatives, and the presumptions upon which they are built are in fact legitimate and entitled to the deference they frequently demand.

These questions are important because we live in a deeply technological age.  The amount of innovation, in biology, chemistry, telecommunications, computing, and many other fields is unprecedented.  Innovation does not depend on patenting per se; particularly in the life sciences, people will innovate, and discover, and invent, regardless of what Lincoln called the "fuel of interest," because researchers (and, indeed, human beings generally) have a deep desire to understand how the world works, particularly our corner of it, and to alleviate disease when we can.  Where patenting comes in has been in commercialization, getting products to market, and doing so in a way that they are safe, effective, and with a minimum of significant side effects.

Salk, JonasWe have achieved these societal benefits and safeguards by increasing the regulatory environment from the days when Jonas Salk (at left) developed his polio vaccine.  Salk famously did not patent his vaccine (not necessarily from altruism, there being serious doubts about whether prior art prevented patenting).  But Salk also did not need to endure the extensive regulatory burden required today (and, according to the book Patenting the Sun availed himself of test populations that would not be permitted today).  That is true in large part because Salk worked before the thalidomide disaster, which caused reform in how drugs were tested and increased their costs by requiring more extensive pre-market testing to ensure safety as well as efficacy.  In addition, as Richard Epstein has written, most of the low hanging fruit of pharmaceutical research has been plucked and drug development has increased in cost.  And these features of the current innovation landscape include not only the drugs themselves but the diseases they treat; we have moved from a past where simple bacterial infections were treated to developing drugs for the diseases of aging (cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's diseases) that are treated by drugs (biologic drugs) vastly more complex in structure and more difficult to produce.  All this has led to increased costs that invoke an increased need for patent exclusivity to ensure sufficient return on investment to justify those costs.

MyriadIn addition, our age is characterized by innovation being harnessed not just by companies but by universities, whereby scientific discoveries are protected by patents and licensed to industry under the auspices of the Bayh-Dole Act rather than being expropriated by companies, foreign, or domestic.  This also increases costs and can result in reduced efficiency (economic and industrial), but also results in significant benefits to universities and the return on public investment.  For example, Myriad Genetics has paid $57 million in royalties to the University of Utah and other research institutions for licensing the patents on the BRCA breast and ovarian cancer tests, and those monies in large part have been reinvested by the universities to fund further research and the capital investment (in laboratory facilities, instruments as well as manpower) needed for that research.

Part of the backlash against patents comes from political disagreements over the role of universities in this process.  Another part stems from high tech companies who view patents as tools that are used against them in litigation, either by smaller companies or companies that have licensed these patents from such small companies.  These companies generally do not use patents the way life sciences companies do, to protect their investment, bur rather as negotiating tools for obtaining cross licenses from competitors.  And some of that has to do with the differences in development costs and obsolescence timelines.  A drug can cost $1 billion to bring to market but has a long time to obsolescence; indeed, drug and other life sciences patents are frequently most valuable in the last few years of their term (which is one reason Myriad continues to sue alleged infringers of their cancer testing patents).  Computer and other high tech inventions have much shorter timelines (would you want to use a phone from 1995?) and lower development costs (perhaps as little as a bright 17 year old working on a computer in his garage).  These differences have been translated into political differences between life sciences companies that need patents for investment, and high tech companies that fight "patent wars" over cell phone technology on the business pages of the Wall Street Journal.  One size does not fit all.

WTO logoAnother aspect of the patent challenge is internationally, particularly in developing countries.  In the mid-1990's, a part of the GATT treaty termed TRIPS was ratified by most countries around the world, mostly for the benefit of joining the World Trade Organization with concomitant reductions in tariffs between countries.  As part of these agreements, signatory countries had to agree to respect intellectual property rights, primarily as a way for pharmaceutical and biotech patenting to be available in countries like Brazil and India that had traditionally nor permitted such subject matter to be patented.  Unfortunately, these agreements did not take into account the justifiable concerns of developing countries over the cost of patented drugs, and the agreements began to have reduced effectiveness almost immediately.  First, while membership in the WTO was immediate, requirements to change an individual country's patent laws were delayed up to six years after signing.  Next, the Doha declaration was enacted by the WTO, which permitted member countries to impose compulsory licenses or otherwise ignore pharmaceutical patent rights for medical emergencies and other reasons, which reasons have expanded to include almost anything since the declaration's enactment.  This resulted in a trend in Brazil, India, South Africa, and other countries to impose such licenses, or to demand local "working" of patents, or otherwise reduce patent protection in these countries, until today the situation is pretty much the same as it was before TRIPS was enacted.

In the U.S., a rising chorus of members of the IT community, academics, NGOs, courts, and government officials concerned about the high cost of drugs and patent litigation has changed the zeitgeist, with the common perception being that the patent system is broken.  The culprits are putatively the PTO and the Federal Circuit, where the PTO allegedly was granting too many "bad" patents and the Federal Circuit culpable for upholding them.  This political climate resulted in a large-scale reduction in patents in the middle part of the past decade and increased Supreme Court review of Federal Circuit decisions.  While the rate of patent grant has returned to its historical averages lately (about 60%) the refusal to grant patents created a balloon of pending applications, and the sequester and other budgetary limitations have blunted the Office's ability to address the backlog effectively.

Supreme Court Building #1There has also been a large amount of skepticism by the Supreme Court about both the Office and the Federal Circuit.  Justice Kagan has termed the PTO "patent happy" and Justice Scalia has called the concept of obviousness "gobbledegook."  Supreme Court review of Federal Circuit decisions has clarified the law in many respects, but recent decisions regarding diagnostic method patents and patents on natural products have the potential to reduce patenting in the life sciences for largely philosophical reasons not aligned with the practical realities of commercialization.

Concerns about cost and access motivate much of the debate.  But it is important to recognize that some of this debate stems from a classic contest between producers and consumers of technology:  consumers (physicians and patients, and increasingly payors like insurance companies and governments) always want technology quicker, cheaper, easier, and this can be and frequently is contrary to the reality of providing drugs and diagnostics that are efficacious and reliable.

The fact is that technology has three ways to be commercialized:  supported by patenting, wherein investors produce new industries as the result in "creative destruction" of old paradigms.  Or by corporate expropriation, where inventions are taken by large corporations and then brought to market under circumstances where creative destruction is prevented or retarded by established products.  Or by trade secret protection, where efforts are made to increase the difficulty in reverse engineering a product and the inability to patent results in non-disclosure of the invention (with concomitant reduction in the public's body of knowledge).

We also need to be cognizant of myths that arise around efforts to disparage patents.  Myriad again provides a good illustration.  For example, the ACLU and their friends promulgated the myth that patents impede basic research.  This is a myth started by speculation in an article by Rebecca Eisenberg and Mike Heller published in 1998 in Science and entitled "Can Patents Deter Innovation?  The Anticommons in Biomedical Research" containing the concept that there could be a "tragedy of the anti-commons."  As it has turned out, no tragedy has ariseng -- the overwhelming weight of the evidence is that patenting does not affect basic genetic research.  In the case of the BRCA genes, for example, there have been more than 10,000 scientific journal articles published since the BRCA gene patents were granted.  There is simply no empirical evidence of tragedy, from the BRCA gene patents or any others.

Another myth is that gene patents mean someone "owns" you.  First, the 13th Amendment prevents a property ownership right in a human being, so that possibility is eliminated.  But moreover, claims to genes are specific to sequence, and the chance that any individual's genes are identical to any other is very small, due to natural, neutral variation in the population.  Gene patents don't impede anyone's right to their own genetic information, because the information isn't patented.  Methods for determining that information may be, but the information itself is not.

There needs to be a recognition once again of some fundamental truths behind innovation and the role of the patent system in increasing innovation.  First, patents are limited in term -- like a bottle of milk they have an expiration date and when they expire the invention is freely available to anyone.  Second, patents require disclosure, in many cases greater disclosure than a scientific paper.  Two examples illustrate this point.  In the Nature paper disclosing the analytical technique of sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), which illustrated the process by separating the dozen or so proteins that made up a bacterial virus, and in the legend of the figure showing this separation was the footnote that said that details of the SDS-PAGE technique were in a manuscript in preparation to be published later.  Such a paper was never published; while there were later book chapters and other detailed descriptions of the technique they were by others who had adopted the technique, and in addition to being secondary from the scientist who "invented" it, these references were much later in time after the publication announcing the technique.  In contrast, a patent on that method would have required a written description of how to practice the invention in such "full, clear, concise, and exact" terms that could be understood by the person skilled in the relevant art, as well as describing the usefulness of the technique.

As another example, when the results of the Human Genome Project were published, many in the scientific community were content with publication of a sequence and a description of how similar in sequence the "new" gene was to other known genes.  That was not good enough to get a patent, however.  The PTO required that an applicant disclose at least one specific, substantial, and credible utility for the protein encoded by the new gene, which resulted in immediate, practical disclosure.  This meant that when those patents expired the public would be in possession not only of the gene but would know what the gene was useful for, and arguably accelerated the speed with which the fruits of the HGP were appreciated.

Third, the consequence of reducing the effectiveness of patents will be that innovation will not suffer but commercialization will.  Myriad once again provides an example.  Myriad has stated in court papers that it spent about $500 million to bring its BRCA tests to market, after it had identified the genes.  These monies were needed to establish a laboratory with the proper controls that minimized false results, something no one has ever accused Myriad of producing.  (For those who point to the absence of "second opinion" testing, there is no reason to think that false positives are more frequent than false negatives, which means an error-prone test would produce results indicating the absence of a BRCA mutation in women having it, and these women should have developed BRCA-specific breast or ovarian cancer.  There are no reports that this has happened, suggesting that Myriad established sufficiently robust procedures, which we can expect were part of its investment costs.)  Myriad also incurred the costs of informing ob/gyn physicians of the test and convincing them it was useful, at a time when genetic diagnostic testing was still considered experimental and where the type of genetic determinants for cancer like BRCA were considered extremely rare.  In addition, Myriad needed to set up a network of genetic counselors, since the diagnosis that a woman carried a BRCA mutation, in a family context of breast cancer in mothers, grandmothers, aunts, etc. was understandably terrifying.  Myriad also needed to convince public and private payors that its tests were reliable and effective and, most importantly, could justify the cost of the test by the savings resulting from reduction in breast cancer frequency.

Myriad did none of this solely from altruism, of course.  But Iit is unlikely that the number of women receiving the test would have been significantly higher if the Utah researchers had made the test freely available, if only for reasons of demographics.  If provided by university hospitals, for example, women in New York, or Chicago, or Boston, or San Francisco certainly would have been able to get the test.  But it is much less likely that women in rural Appalachia, or the Four Corners region of the southwest, or in Idaho would have had access to the test.  These are economic realities that have had no place in the public debate over gene patenting.

There is also a risk in giving courts the power to subjectively decide the proper "balance" between too much and too little patents, particularly on categorical grounds like subject matter eligibility.  Courts are particularly unlikely to have the scientific understanding to apply the law to new technologies; that's the Patent Office's job, and the law gives the agency a broad scope ("anything under the sun made by man").  There is no way a priori to decide what "too much" patenting is, and the question is fraught with the politics of competition:  of course a company might think that its competitor's patents are "bad" because they block the company from commercializing a product (disregarding the potential for licensing that the patent system intends to promote).  The Supreme Court has recently given the impression that they have a Goldilocks role in deciding the proper balance of patent eligibility.  This thinking is illustrated by the fact that, until now, there was not Supreme Court precedent supporting a "product of nature" ban on patent eligibility.  One of the consequences of the Myriad decision is that it has put into question the patent eligibility of claims to natural products that are isolated and otherwise unchanged.  The logical fallacy of this decision can be appreciated by this hypothetical:  if a scientist discovered a protein produced in a human that regulated blood pressure, the closer the drug developed by the scientist was to the natural protein (and hence the more like the native molecule the drug was, in turn being closest to the protein's natural properties of half-life, potency, etc.) the less patent eligible the molecule would be.  That can't be right.

Think about the following inventions and whether they should be patent eligible (and why):

• Isolated chemical compound from crude oil useful as a lubricant
• Isolated antibiotic produced by bacteria
• Isolated chemical compound from a plant useful as a drug
• Isolated protein from an animal useful to cure/ameliorate human disease
• Isolated cucumber gene that extends freshness
• Isolated Human gene (erythropoietin)

Deciding that some or none of these inventions deserve patent protection has consequences, and there is a need to balance any philosophical bases for excluding any of them from patent eligibility with the practical effects of doing so.

We live in a technological age, and part of the success of that age stems from the capacity of patent exclusivity to encourage investment and bring products to market.  For the past thirty years this has created a society of economic growth and the capability to better diagnose and treat disease unknown in the past.  Patents are not the only reason but they have played their part.  In our efforts to address patenting's shortcomings, it is important that we do not overly diminish their proper role.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide

JD Supra Privacy Policy

Updated: May 25, 2018:

JD Supra is a legal publishing service that connects experts and their content with broader audiences of professionals, journalists and associations.

This Privacy Policy describes how JD Supra, LLC ("JD Supra" or "we," "us," or "our") collects, uses and shares personal data collected from visitors to our website (located at (our "Website") who view only publicly-available content as well as subscribers to our services (such as our email digests or author tools)(our "Services"). By using our Website and registering for one of our Services, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

Please note that if you subscribe to one of our Services, you can make choices about how we collect, use and share your information through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard (available if you are logged into your JD Supra account).

Collection of Information

Registration Information. When you register with JD Supra for our Website and Services, either as an author or as a subscriber, you will be asked to provide identifying information to create your JD Supra account ("Registration Data"), such as your:

  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Title
  • Country

Other Information: We also collect other information you may voluntarily provide. This may include content you provide for publication. We may also receive your communications with others through our Website and Services (such as contacting an author through our Website) or communications directly with us (such as through email, feedback or other forms or social media). If you are a subscribed user, we will also collect your user preferences, such as the types of articles you would like to read.

Information from third parties (such as, from your employer or LinkedIn): We may also receive information about you from third party sources. For example, your employer may provide your information to us, such as in connection with an article submitted by your employer for publication. If you choose to use LinkedIn to subscribe to our Website and Services, we also collect information related to your LinkedIn account and profile.

Your interactions with our Website and Services: As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information includes IP addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the Website and our Services, to improve the content and performance of our Website and Services, and to track users' movements around the site. We may also link this automatically-collected data to personal information, for example, to inform authors about who has read their articles. Some of this data is collected through information sent by your web browser. We also use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect this information. To learn more about cookies and other tracking technologies that JD Supra may use on our Website and Services please see our "Cookies Guide" page.

How do we use this information?

We use the information and data we collect principally in order to provide our Website and Services. More specifically, we may use your personal information to:

  • Operate our Website and Services and publish content;
  • Distribute content to you in accordance with your preferences as well as to provide other notifications to you (for example, updates about our policies and terms);
  • Measure readership and usage of the Website and Services;
  • Communicate with you regarding your questions and requests;
  • Authenticate users and to provide for the safety and security of our Website and Services;
  • Conduct research and similar activities to improve our Website and Services; and
  • Comply with our legal and regulatory responsibilities and to enforce our rights.

How is your information shared?

  • Content and other public information (such as an author profile) is shared on our Website and Services, including via email digests and social media feeds, and is accessible to the general public.
  • If you choose to use our Website and Services to communicate directly with a company or individual, such communication may be shared accordingly.
  • Readership information is provided to publishing law firms and authors of content to give them insight into their readership and to help them to improve their content.
  • Our Website may offer you the opportunity to share information through our Website, such as through Facebook's "Like" or Twitter's "Tweet" button. We offer this functionality to help generate interest in our Website and content and to permit you to recommend content to your contacts. You should be aware that sharing through such functionality may result in information being collected by the applicable social media network and possibly being made publicly available (for example, through a search engine). Any such information collection would be subject to such third party social media network's privacy policy.
  • Your information may also be shared to parties who support our business, such as professional advisors as well as web-hosting providers, analytics providers and other information technology providers.
  • Any court, governmental authority, law enforcement agency or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation, or otherwise to protect our rights, the rights of any third party or individuals' personal safety, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or safety issues.
  • To our affiliated entities and in connection with the sale, assignment or other transfer of our company or our business.

How We Protect Your Information

JD Supra takes reasonable and appropriate precautions to insure that user information is protected from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. You should keep in mind that no Internet transmission is ever 100% secure or error-free. Where you use log-in credentials (usernames, passwords) on our Website, please remember that it is your responsibility to safeguard them. If you believe that your log-in credentials have been compromised, please contact us at

Children's Information

Our Website and Services are not directed at children under the age of 16 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 through our Website and/or Services. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 has provided personal information to us, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

  • Our Legal Basis for Processing: Generally, we rely on our legitimate interests in order to process your personal information. For example, we rely on this legal ground if we use your personal information to manage your Registration Data and administer our relationship with you; to deliver our Website and Services; understand and improve our Website and Services; report reader analytics to our authors; to personalize your experience on our Website and Services; and where necessary to protect or defend our or another's rights or property, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, safety or privacy issues. Please see Article 6(1)(f) of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") In addition, there may be other situations where other grounds for processing may exist, such as where processing is a result of legal requirements (GDPR Article 6(1)(c)) or for reasons of public interest (GDPR Article 6(1)(e)). Please see the "Your Rights" section of this Privacy Policy immediately below for more information about how you may request that we limit or refrain from processing your personal information.
  • Your Rights
    • Right of Access/Portability: You can ask to review details about the information we hold about you and how that information has been used and disclosed. Note that we may request to verify your identification before fulfilling your request. You can also request that your personal information is provided to you in a commonly used electronic format so that you can share it with other organizations.
    • Right to Correct Information: You may ask that we make corrections to any information we hold, if you believe such correction to be necessary.
    • Right to Restrict Our Processing or Erasure of Information: You also have the right in certain circumstances to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or to erase your personal information. Where you have consented to our use of your personal information, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at:

- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.