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The Medicine Chest: Never Give In

By Steven R. Ludwig, Ph.D.

IP Today Columnist Steven Ludwig is a U.S. patent attorney with the law firm of Venable LLP in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Ludwig’s legal practice includes litigating and prosecuting pharmaceutical / biotech cases for his clients.  He can be reached at 202-344-4690 or via email at

The ability of an inventor to obtain a United States patent which fully covers his or her invention is at an all time low.  In the future, things will only get worse.  This trend will likely remain unaltered until Congress, the Supreme Court, the federal government and/or the American people realize that innovation is the backbone of a country.

Ironically, the Chinese government has recognized this fact, has said so publicly, and continues to strengthen its patent system.  Yet in the United States, many in power appear to be more concerned about the affordability of new inventions for all than in encouraging innovation - quite a switch.

Recent events have been particularly harsh on inventors, and particularly on those inventors whose inventions are in the biotech and pharmaceutical area.

I had always thought that the right of a patent holder to exclude others from practicing his or her patented invention except under exceptional circumstances would never be taken away.  Then in May 2...

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