By Matthew L. Cutler, Principal
Do you have a business opportunity that is being held up because of a competitor’s patent? Opportunistic companies are taking advantage of a Patent Office procedure, Inter Partes Review (IPR), that is being used as a valuable cudgel to destroy key patents that are otherwise blocking markets.
For branded pharmaceutical companies, fundamental patents have been rendered worthless by the United States Patent Office (PTO). Initially, branded pharma was a big supporter of the law that created IPR—the America Invents Act—when it was championed by tech companies hoping to derail non-practicing entities (or “patent trolls”). However, branded pharma companies have quickly learned that this law has had consequences far beyond those limited, initial goals—as they now realize the new paradigm is affecting their own patents. On the flip side, IPR has created a valuable opportunity for companies who take advantage of this new tool to open up markets that would otherwise have been foreclosed by patent protection.