Biotech Association To Aid Patent Office

Frustrated with the Patent and Trademark Office’s multi-year delay in issuing biotechnology patents (see “Biotech Patent Bottleneck Harms Makers Of Better Mousetraps,” The Scientist, September 5, 1988, page 2), the Industrial Biotechnology Association has offered to help train patent examiners. ‘We decided not just to complain [about the backlog], but to do something about it,” IBA president Richard 0. Godown said October 27 at IBA’s annual meeting in San Diego. The IBA, in conjunction with its member firms, will sponsor seminars on new developments in biotechnology, visits to industry labs, and lessons on specialized topics. The intent, according to Godown, “is to provide patent officers with the state of the art information they need to evaluate patent applications.” This, in turn, is expected to speed the patent examination process. Flushed with its success at the PTO, the IBA now intends to tackle the...

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