Mika Reiner Mayer
The current level of Section 101 litigation shows that this area of law is still evolving. Mika Reiner Mayer, new partner at Cooley in Palo Alto, explains

Congratulations on your new role. Where do you see your focus being in terms of patents owners in the next few years?

Thank you, I am very excited to be at Cooley. My practice has always focused on the life sciences sector, and Cooley has one of the largest life sciences practices of any firm in the world. I am looking forward to helping to continue to grow that practice by working collaboratively with all the different practice groups we have here.

As for the next few years for patent owners, it’s a very dynamic time. In the life sciences sector in particular, we have seen an incredible convergence of traditional life sciences with high tech and I expect to see this trend continue.

Technologies have emerged ranging from sensors on pills for patient compliance to smart contact lenses to measure glucose, and the pace of innovation seems to be ever increasing.

I feel fortunate to be able to work with the people on the front lines in these fields.

Has the introduction of inter-partes review proceedings become a help or a hindrance to medical device makers and pharma patent owners?

While we are seeing inter-partes reviews with increased frequency in the life sciences space, they have not yet hit the fever pitch they have in other industries such as software and high tech. In those industries, the volume of litigation is extreme and corresponding inter-partes reviews have become a commonplace litigation strategy to counteract non-practicing entities.

Over time, I expect to see more inter-partes reviews filed in the life sciences space, but I think it is unlikely the numbers will ever reach the numbers filed in the high-tech space, where historically, there is far more litigation.

We have also seen abusive inter-partes review proceedings in the pharma space, where non-practicing entities file inter-partes reviews in an effort to manipulate stock price and lower company value. It will be interesting to see what comes of the efforts to enforce standing requirements to thwart this practice.

Now that it’s been five years since passage of the American Invents Act, have US courts and the USPTO clarified and improved the system?

Since the passage of America Invents Act in 2011 and the creation of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which oversees inter-partes reviews, it feels like the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been reaching out more to the patent community.

With road shows, satellite offices, participation in various conferences, and solicitation of input and feedback, it appears that the USPTO is trying to encourage additional community involvement and engagement. From my perspective, I think it’s having a positive effect on the overall patent process.

The US Supreme Court recently declined to hear Sequenom v Ariosa, while the Federal Circuit has also reaffirmed the two-part test for eligibility and restored a patent directed to natural phenomena—is the Section 101 patentability debate over as far as natural phenomena and diagnostics are concerned?

I think the fact that there have been so many Supreme Court and Federal Circuit decisions attempting to clarify the Section 101 standard shows that this area of law is still evolving. District courts have been applying the current standard differently as well, so it doesn’t seem like this area is well-settled just yet.

The latest interviews from IPPro Patents
The latest features from IPPro Patents
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, Allied Security Trust plans to build its patent acquisition business even more. CEO Russell Binns explains
Facing unacceptable pendencies in 2003, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office dug deep to make the patent prosecution service more efficient
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
TC Heartland’s Supreme Court question may see patent owners going cold on the Eastern District of Texas
It is incumbent on practitioners and applicants to take care in drafting and prosecuting applications, says Bea Koempel-Thomas of Lee & Hayes
Is American chipmaker Qualcomm in trouble? Joachim Frommhold of Weinmann Zimmerli examines the facts
IP arguably sits on the periphery of any discussions about what a post-Brexit UK will look like, but that hasn’t stopped the country’s patent-granting authority from getting on with its job
With President Trump recently installed in the White House, will the internet industry be able to convince him to look at patents?
Acronyms such as IoT and UPC dominated discussion at this year’s London IP Summit
Country profiles
The latest country profiles from IPPro Patents
Bruno Nunes of BN IP explains how patent prosecution and licensing works in Macau, a market dominated by gaming and pharma
Tran Viet Phuong of Duong Tran offers a handy guide to patent prosecution
IPPro Connects

Visit our sister site
the worlds biggest and best IP directory

The Andean Community has stood firm in the defence of its owns interests, says Jesús Cuba and Kelly Sánchez of OMC Abogados & Consultores
The first preliminary injunction granted by a China IP court was awarded to Christian Louboutin. Dr Weili Ma of Chofn Intellectual Property explains
Patent prosecution in South Africa rarely favours the inventor, but recent reforms are aiming to change that, one little bit at a time
The Tanzania Patent Office is a useful partner in the prosecution process, says Sunday Godfrey Ndamugoba of ABC Attorneys
Dominic Ogega Mwale, managing partner at Mwale & Company, explains how to patent in Kenya
Patent owners looking for an attractive place to seek protection in Asia need look no further than Singapore, says Max Ng and Gerald Mursjid of Gateway Law Corporation