PHARMACY

Commerce Department calls on Judiciary to modify Patent Reform Act

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The House of Representatives in mid-September passed the Patent Reform Act and now the Senate is considering a similar bill this month. But before it is approved, the Senate Judiciary Committee will continue to work disputed sections of the bill, including the damages provision.

The damages provision is being questioned by the Commerce Department, who notified the Senate Judiciary Committee that the, “damages section will seriously harm the U.S. intellectual property system.”

In its Feb. 4 letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and other committee members, the Commerce Department said the bill’s damages provision “will create more problems than it solves.” The damages language in S. 1145, the Senate’s bill, would establish a system for courts to use when calculating reasonable royalty awards in patent litigation.

The damages provision aims “to give judges, and juries, better guidance on the proper way to calculate a reasonable royalty,” according to a Jan. 24 Judiciary Committee report on S. 1145. Rather than leaving juries to calculate royalties using various factors, the Patent Reform Act would require judges to tell juries which factors to consider. The judge also would decide whether royalties are supposed to be calculated based on the entire market value of the invention or on the specific patent’s contribution over prior art.

This proposed method for calculating damages is too narrow and would discourage innovation, according to Commerce. Judges should be required to identify all possible factors to use when calculating reasonable royalties, and juries should be required to apply all factors. “Innovation can and will be encouraged in all industries by giving federal juries the flexibility to apply appropriate economic principles to the facts of each case, consistent with the business model or technology,” the department wrote.

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PHARMACY

Parata launches PACMED C30 packaging technology

BY Drew Buono

DURHAM, N.C. Parata Systems has launched its new product, the PACMED C30, which is a packaging technology used to extend the safety and convenience of its onePAC packaging system.

onePac is a strip that contains information like patients’ medications, patient names, pill descriptions and time of day to take a dose of the medication. On the strip, up to 19 lines of information can be held. The goal of the strips are to remind patients who take multiple medications when to take what medications and how much of each medication.

The PACMED C30 expands on the technology of the onePAC by combining multiple onePAC strips together for easy access by patients. PACMED C30 is efficient and accurate, generating up to 60 unit-dose or 50 multi-dose packages a minute.

“Adherence is a critical touch point in the circle of pharmacy care, and Parata’s launch of PACMED C30 offers an exciting new way for pharmacies to extend their care by improving patient adherence, safety and convenience,” says Tom Rhoads, executive vice president for customer and market strategies at Parata Systems.

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Teva announces availablility of generic Fosamax

BY Drew Buono

NORTH WALES, Pa. Teva has announced the introduction and availability of alendronate sodium tablets.

This is the generic version of the osteoporosis drug Fosamax by Merck. The drug will be available in 5 mg, 10 mg, 35 mg, 40 mg and 70 mg strengths.

“Our customers count on Teva for a continuous supply of new generic products,” stated John Denman, vice president of sales and marketing. “With the launch of alendronate sodium tablets, we add another quality product to our broad line of affordable generic pharmaceuticals.”

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