Thursday, 18 August 2011 21:20


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Since February of 2010, Alzheimer's Institute of America (AIA) has been embroiled in a patent infringement suit it brought against a number of defendants, claiming infringement of certain patents covering the genetic mutation, dubbed the "Swedish mutation", that causes early on-set Alzheimer's disease.  Last week, AIA dropped the case against one defendant, Jackson Laboratory of Bar Harbor, Maine, for an unusual and interesting reason.

The suit alleged that Jackson Laboratory was infringing the cited patents by providing a number of mouse models to academic institutions for Alzheimer's research.   Jackson Laboratory requested the assistance of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since they fund much of Jackson Laboratory's work.  In an unprecedented move, the NIH intervened and provided Jackson Laboratory a letter granting its "authorization and consent" to use and manufacture any invention claimed in a U.S. patent for work performed in connection with particular grants given to Jackson Laboratory, including those relating to Alzheimer's research.  This maneuver essentially provided Jackson Laboratory with a compulsory patent license as a federal contractor that effectively shields it from patent infringement liability, since AIA would have to then sue the federal government to continue this claim.  Accordingly, the case against Jackson Laboratory was dismissed, though litigation continues as to other remaining defendants.

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Jessica Hauth

Ms. Hauth earned her bachelor's degree in Chemistry and her master's degree in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology from Emory University, and her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law. She has published her research in the areas of developmental biology, genetics, heterochromatin assembly and maintenance, and RNAi use and characterization. She is a member of the American Chemical Society, American Intellectual Property Law Association, Dade County Bar Association, and Phi Alpha Delta. She is admitted to practice law in Florida state courts, as well as in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. As a Registered Patent Attorney, she concentrates her practice on Patent Prosecution and Intellectual Property Litigation.