Finnegan Henderson Releases 2005 Report On Biotech And Pharmaceutical Patent Trends

WASHINGTON, June 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Washington, D.C.-based intellectual property law firm Finnegan Henderson, the largest IP law firm in the world, released its 2005 Biotechnology Innovation Report today at the opening session of the Intellectual Property/Legal Track at the BIO 2005 Annual International Convention being held this week in Philadelphia. The report details patenting, patent ownership, and patent litigation trends specifically within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

The report follows up and expands upon empirical data in last year's inaugural Report. The report was written and edited by Finnegan Henderson attorneys and contains information on patenting and patent litigation trends through Dec. 31, 2004. Divided into two sections -- trends in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), and trends in the courts -- the report analyzes data on patent subject matter, ownership and litigation, and provides graphical, tabular and textual resources for the biotech and pharmaceutical business and legal communities. Recent draft legislation by Congress underscores the continued interest in refining patent policy to ensure that it keeps up with the pace of new technologies and fosters continued progress.

Key findings include: * After reaching a plateau during the early 2000s, biotech and pharmaceutical patenting appears to be in modest decline. Patenting activity in agricultural biotechnology appears to be on the rise, and patenting in the area of RNA interference, though still at low levels, appears to be in a log phase of growth. * Biotech patent ownership has maintained a shift in favor of the private sector, at the apparent expense of ownership by universities. The U.S. Government continues to be among the major biotech U.S. patent holders. Agrabiotech patent ownership appears to be on the rise. * Patent litigation has continued at a modest, steady increase, a likely reflection of the continued recognition of the increased value of intellectual property assets. Biotech and pharmaceutical patent litigation appear consistent with this trend. * In biotech and pharmaceutical patent cases decided by district courts between 2000 and 2003, the patentee lost each year by a margin of two to one or greater; though in 2004, the patentee won about twice as often as in each of the previous four years. * In biotech and pharmaceutical cases decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in 2004, patentees lost in the district courts by a margin of about three to one. A greater percentage of patentee wins were affirmed than losses, thus evening out the average odds for the patentee. The Federal Circuit's affirmance rate for biotech and pharmaceutical cases was maintained at 65% from 2003 to 2004.

The Report also includes a review of major developments at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office during 2004.

About Finnegan Henderson:

With 300 intellectual property lawyers, Finnegan Henderson is the largest IP law firm in the world. From offices in Washington, DC; Atlanta, Georgia; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Palo Alto, California; Reston, Virginia; Taipei, Taiwan; Tokyo, Japan; and Brussels, Belgium, the firm practices all aspects of patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law, including counseling, prosecution, licensing, and litigation. It also represents clients on IP issues related to international trade, portfolio management, the Internet, e- commerce, government contracts, antitrust, and unfair competition. For additional information on the firm, please visit

Finnegan Henderson

CONTACT: Matthew Langan, +1-202-448-5309,, forFinnegan Henderson

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