Bloomberg BNA at BIO 2015: Making IP Patents Personal


The opening session of the intellectual property track of sessions at the BIO convention showed that IP is not a dry and dull construct, but for biomedical patents, is about patients and innovation.

Michael Gollin, of Venable LLP, spoke to the audience via video. He said he was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease three years ago.  

He said the course of ALS hasn’t changed since Gehrig was stricken with the disease 76 years ago. “Therefore I realize that new ALS research offers a limited opportunity for me. But maybe for others. My training helps me have realistic hopes and keeps me in balance. And there is a spiritual component to optimism,” Gollin said.

After the video, 10 IP attorneys came to the stage. They were colleagues of Gollin from Venable, university professors who have worked with him and Hans Sauer, deputy general counsel for intellectual property for the Biotechnology Industry Organization, which sponsors the BIO convention. 

They read from a letter Gollin wrote to the convention. He said he  viewed his work as an IP attorney as one who helps others. “In my view, the past few years have seen an unfortunate confusion descend on U.S. patent law, particularly as a result of recent Supreme Court decisions, such as Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics.”

“I believe that the simple lesson is that patents are not simple, and we should resist efforts to simplify them,” he wrote.  “We are entering a golden age of research. Weakening the patent system will not help me or anyone else who is stricken with a serious disease.”