April 17: Lawyer discusses patenting aspects of nature

Eric-Williams-80PULLMAN, Wash. – New federal guidelines for what products of nature might be eligible for patents will be discussed by a pharmacist/intellectual property lawyer at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 17, in the Veterinary and Biomedical Research Building 305 at Washington State University Pullman. The presentation will be videoconferenced in SPBS 409 at WSU Spokane.

The information holds important ramifications for patents in many areas of research at WSU, such as healthcare, biotechnology and chemistry.

The guidelines were issued in March by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office following the June 2013 unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision that human genes are not patentable but synthetic DNA is patent eligible because it does not occur naturally. The patent office guidelines refer not only to DNA but to “laws of nature/natural principles, natural phenomena and/or natural products or processes.”

Speaker Eric Williams is an Indianapolis-based lawyer with the national firm Barnes & Thornburg, LLP.

Read more about the guidelines at http://www.pharmapatentsblog.com/2014/03/05/uspto-issues-new-patent-subject-matter-eligibility-guidelines/.

Read more about the court decision at http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/06/13/191283148/natural-dna-cannot-be-patented-supreme-court-rules.

Read more about the speaker at http://www.btlaw.com/eric-williams/.