After a full day of CLE sessions and other programs, attendees at the NAPABA Northeast Regional/AABANY Fall Conference enjoyed a cocktail reception, sponsored by Day Pitney. Attendees from AABANY and the northeast affiliates, including from Canada, met, mingled, connected and re-connected over drinks and hors d’oeuvres. 

At the reception, the AABANY Law Review, which was launched at the 2011 Fall Conference, presented its first Scholarly Paper Prize to Greg Robinson (Professor of History at l’Université du Québec à Montréal)  for his article, In Defense of Birthright Citizenship: The JACL, the NAACP, and Regan v. King. Prof. Robinson accepted the award and offered brief remarks about his published work, to be released in the upcoming issue of the AABANY Law Review.

Also during the reception, Key Sponsor Hudson Court Reporting and Video and Elite Sponsor Baker Tilly held drawings for prizes. Congratulations to the raffle winners, and thanks to Hudson and Baker Tilly for being such strong supporters of AABANY!

Following the reception, several committees hosted dinners: The Real Estate/Solo Small Firm Committees hosted their dinner at S Dynasty, sponsored by Bank of America. The Litigation/Young Lawyers Committees had a wonderful Italian dinner at Aperitivo. The Bankruptcy/Corporate Law Committees had their dinner at Banc Café, thanks to sponsors UBS and Donlin Recano. Thomson Reuters sponsored the Intellectual Property Committee dinner at Fusia.

Right after the committee dinners, energetic attendees convened at Rare View Rooftop for the afterparty. The attendees enjoyed drinks and each other’s company while admiring panoramic views of the New York City skyline, at least until the rain came down. Not to be deterred by the downpour, guests took the party downstairs to Rare Bar & Grill on the ground floor to continue their post-conference celebration.

We hope everyone who came to the 2013 NAPABA Northeast Regional/AABANY Fall Conference had an enjoyable and productive time. We hope to see you at the 2013 NAPABA Annual Convention in Kansas City in November!

IP Insights #1: Mayo and its Impact on Medicine

In Mayo v. Prometheus Labs, the Supreme Court invalidated a medical diagnosis patent because it was an unpatentable application of a law of nature. The patent was a method for determining the proper dosage level of a certain class of drugs administered to patients. The Court considered the patent to be merely reciting a natural law about the body’s physical chemistry and instructing doctors or researchers to apply that law to routine medical practice or research. The Court seemed to be concerned with diagnostic patents creating monopolies on medical research and practice, and thus inhibiting further discoveries.

Medical researchers and professionals have reacted favorably to the decision. They had feared that diagnostic patents would restrict medical research and experimentation, and that they would need to secure licenses in order to perform their routine work. In fact, doctors point out that the patent was covering something they do all the time: giving a patient different dosages of a drug, observing the results, and making a medical judgment about the proper dosage. Mayo and other academic hospitals will have more flexibility about conducting medical experiments with drugs without fear of infringing on someone else’s patents. 

What do you think about the Mayo v. Prometheus decision? Many have criticized the Court’s unsatisfactory reasoning; do you think it was rightly decided based on the Court’s patent law precedents? Most commentators have focused on the practical effect on doctors, medical researchers, and biotech companies. What do you think about the effect and how significant will Mayo be?

(To read the Mayo decision, click on the Supremecourt.gov link below. You can also read the PTO’s preliminary guidance in wake of Mayo at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/law/exam/mayo_prelim_guidance.pdf)