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Innovation e-Review

The Innovation Review is the New York State Science & Technology Law Center's monthly newsletter, bringing information on a variety of economic, business, and technology related legal news as well as highlighting and profiling resources and events across the state.

IP Law Watch


Drug Manufacturing and Venture Philanthropy

Historically, disease foundations have provided funding for academic research toward treatment or cures. However, a different method of providing support directly to companies, called venture philanthropy, has begun to gain attention.

The nonprofit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation began providing funding to a small biotech company to develop drugs for treating the disease about 15 years ago. The investment, totaling $150 million, appears to have paid off in more ways than one. The biotech company, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, eventually developed Kalydeco, the first drug that treats the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis and slows the rate of decline in lung function. The foundation announced in November that it will receive a one-time payment of $3.3 billion from selling the rights to the royalties to Kalydeco and other drugs resulting from their financial support.

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Versata v. SAP and Implications for U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board

In 2011, Congress passed the America Invents Act (AIA) which provided the most significant change to the U.S. patent system since 1952. Several of the biggest changes were related to the formation and operation of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, an administrative body of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which decides issues of patentability. The first week of December, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit heard arguments in the first challenge to a PTAB decision related to covered business method patents that could answer some important questions related to the new proceedings.

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Disruptive Technologies and the Struggle for Regulation

Occasionally innovations move so quickly or are so novel that legislative and regulatory bodies can have a hard time keeping up. Recently, this struggle has been exemplified in the Federal Aviation Administration’s dealings with drones, or unmanned aerial systems (UAS), for commercial use. The FAA has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of American civil aviation and under its current regulations it is illegal in the US to utilize drones for business purposes except for a few FAA permitted instances.

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Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act Passes

The funding bill passed by Congress this month contained a bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Tom Reed of Corning, which will create a network of 15 manufacturing innovation hubs, called Centers for Manufacturing Innovation, across the nation.

The bi-partisan bill, the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act, provides that $30 million a year will be provided for 10 years to select and operate the manufacturing hubs. It calls for the hubs to include active participation among representatives from government, colleges and universities, research institutions, business and industry to improve the competitiveness of US manufacturing. The decision on the location of the hubs will be determined in a fair competition through the National Institute of Standards and Technology.


Around New York State


Regional Economic Development Awards Have Been Announced

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the Regional Economic Development Council awards of $709.2 million economic and community development funding. The Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson, Southern Tier, Long Island, and Central New York regions were all named top performers. The governor's office also released a document that contains the complete and detailed list of the (REDC) awards.


A Glimpse into Gov. Cuomo's Plans for the Next Four Years

In October Gov. Cuomo released a document, Moving the New NY Forward, that lays out his continued plans for the state over the next four years. The document contains a number of policy proposals relevant to economic development in the state, including proposals relating to small businesses, innovation, and workforce development.

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