jump to navigation

Applied BioMath and Northern Biologics to Collaborate on Biotherapeutic Candidate in Oncology 04/21/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Life Sciences.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Applied BioMath logo (M1064209xB1386)Firm client Applied BioMath, the industry-leader in applying mechanistic modeling to drug research and development, announced a collaboration with Northern Biologics, an innovative antibody discovery and development company. The companies will focus on traditional and mechanistic pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) modeling for a biotherapeutic candidate in oncology. Applied BioMath will leverage both traditional PK/PD models and semi-mechanistic PK/PD models, while Northern Biologics will use this model to strengthen their understanding of the parameters that will determine optimal dosing paradigms.

Congratulations to our client on this new collaboration. For more information, read the full press release.

MBBP’s Life Sciences Vector Newsletter, Spring 2017 04/20/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Intellectual Property, Life Sciences, MBBP news, New Resources.
Tags: ,
add a comment

ext

Our Life Sciences team has published the Spring 2017 edition of its newsletter, Vector. Below you will find brief descriptions of the news and articles included in the publication. Read the full newsletter for more information.

DAVID CZARNECKI AND STANLEY CHALVIRE ELEVATED WITHIN THE FIRM

We are pleased to announce that David Czarnecki and Stanley Chalvire have been elevated to Member. Dave is exceptionally proficient in guiding both buyers and sellers through a wide range of corporate transactions. Stan is a Registered Patent Attorney, specializing in the licensing of intellectual property and related counseling.

AMANDA PHILLIPS NAMED 2017 UP & COMING LAWYER

Litigation associate Amanda Phillips has been named a 2017 Up & Coming Lawyer by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The recognition is awarded to a select number of attorneys who have been practicing for fewer than 10 years but whose professional achievements are noteworthy and whose service to the community is also significant.

CORPORATE ATTORNEY MICHAEL JABBAWY JOINS FIRM AS PARTNER

Michael’s practice is focused primarily in the areas of emerging and growth technology companies, venture capital, M&A transactions, and corporate governance. As a member of the Corporate Department, Michael advises technology and other emerging companies through each stage of growth. Prior to joining MBBP, Michael was a member of the Technology Companies group at Goodwin Procter LLP.

RECENT LIFE SCIENCES TRANSACTIONS

MBBP represented several clients in life sciences transactions, including iSpecimen, Orionis Biosciences, First Light Biosciences, and Manus Biosynthesis. The transactions ranged from convertible debt to equity investments. Learn more on page 2.

FREEDOM TO OPERATE: PREVENTION IS THE BEST MEDICINE

Launching a new product or service can be fraught with uncertainty and involve large expenditures of limited resources. An FTO opinion can reduce uncertainty and provide some insurance against loss from an unfavorable finding of infringement of another’s patent. An FTO opinion makes a determination whether a product or service infringes issued patents. In other words, the opinion indicates whether or not there is “freedom to operate” the product or service within the patent landscape. Often, FTO opinions also identify patent applications that, if later issued as patents, may be problematic. Read the full article on page 2.

THE PATENT PROCESS: GET ON THE FAST TRACK

One of the biggest frustrations for patent applicants is the incredibly slow pace at which an application proceeds from filing to receipt of a substantive examination report to allowance. On average it takes 15.7 months for a patent application to receive even a first substantive examination report, though there is significant variability across technology areas. The Patent Office has recognized this problem and implemented several initiatives which attempt to address the problem from different angles. Two programs in particular have gained traction: the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) and Track One Prioritized Examination. Continue reading for more information about these programs.

OWNERSHIP OF ARISING INVENTIONS IN JOINT DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENTS

Collaboration remains a valuable means of fostering innovation and advancing scientific, clinical and commercial objectives. Towards that end, two or more parties contemplating a collaboration often consider entering into a Joint Development Agreement, where they define, among other things, their respective contributions and responsibilities towards their common objectives. These types of collaborations require a careful and thorough consideration of the disposition of intellectual property rights that may arise as a result of each party’s performance of its responsibilities under such collaborations. Read more starting on page 3.

GUEST COLUMN:
FOR SKILLED IMMIGRATION TO THE U.S., THE TIMES, THEY MAY BE CHANGING

The last year of the Obama Administration saw an increased activism by President Obama in the area of skilled immigration. Through Executive Orders and regulations, the President made a number of important changes including providing Employment Authorization for spouses on H-4 visas, increasing the period of post-graduate employment authorization for foreign students in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), increasing the number of academic fields included in STEM and formalizing a grace period for foreign nationals on H-1B visas that find themselves between jobs. Read the full article beginning on page 5.

WatchRx Selected as Top Innovator by AARP and MedCity News 04/19/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Medical Devices, Telecommunications & Networking.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

WatchRx Logo (M0897830xB1386)Jayanthi Narasimhan, Founder and CEO of firm client WatchRx, has been named a 50+ Innovation Leader by AARP and MedCity News. The honor recognizes the leading innovators of services and products designed to serve the booming 50+ consumer health market.

Those who made the list were selected by their peers by voting. Modernizing patient care to meet the needs of today’s mobile world was a common goal of many of the winners, as well as exceptional creativity in alternative therapies, smart wearables, and product design.

WatchRx was founded from the need of the founders’ to assist their aging parents with managing medications and health conditions remotely for their multiple chronic conditions. The company delivers global award winning products to consumer, telecommunications, and enterprise industries.

Congratulations to all of the winners and to our client, Jayanthi of WatchRx!

Strategic Alliances: Pot of Gold or Pretty Poison? – Life Sciences Series Panel 4 Event, April 28 04/11/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Events, Licensing & Strategic Alliances, Life Sciences, MBBP news.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

JMH Headshot Photo 2015 (M0846571xB1386)Our Life Sciences Series Panel 4 event, Strategic Alliances: Pot of Gold or Pretty Poison?, will be held on Friday, April 28 from 7:30-10am in our Waltham office. Moderated by corporate attorney John Hession, a panel of business development experts from Big Pharma and Small Biotech explore various research and collaboration structures, from options to license to comprehensive collaboration partnerships. We will discuss various licensing vehicles, the importance of concise fields of use descriptions, sample economics, and conventional transaction structures.

View our event page for more information and to register for the event.

Early-Stage Life Science Financing: Event Recap 04/05/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Corporate, Life Sciences, MBBP news.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

By: Erin Bryan

On Thursday, March 30th, MBBP kicked off an Innovations in Life Sciences event at the Cambridge Innovation Center by hosting a panel entitled “Money and Molecules: Early-Stage Life Science Financing“. The panel included Jeffrey Arnold, President & CEO of Arnold Strategies, LLC; Timothy Sullivan, Partner at Aju IB Investment; John Tagliamonte who serves on the Advisory Board of Cocoon Biotech; Caleb Winder, Managing Director of Excel Venture Management; and MBBP’s own John Hession as moderator.JMH Headshot Photo 2015 (M0846571xB1386)

The panel provided a discussion on financing strategies for young life science companies, ranging from how to get in the door with investors to what will make your company attractive for financing. It may be surprising to many, but the entire panel echoed the fact that the financing process will take longer than is generally expected. If available, it is recommended to seek grant and other non-dilutive funding in addition to any equity financing.

The panelists identified a number of factors that they consider when a company is seeking financing, including how well the company has examined the market, identified a regulatory and a reimbursement path, understood the economics of the customer, and filed for patent protection. Additional considerations include how well the company will fit with the portfolio strategy of the investor, and how complete the management team is. Many investors will also be looking to see where in the pipeline the company’s research currently is. In general, investors want to see that the company has at least reached the molecule stage and has some small animal data supporting its research, although exceptions may always be made depending on the strength of the management team, the marketing opportunity, and the science.

These were merely a few of the interesting points discussed by the panel. Save the date for our next life sciences panel “Strategic Alliances: Pot of Gold or Pretty Poison?” (the 4th in the Life Sciences Series), which will be hosted at MBBP’s Waltham office on Friday, April 28. The panel will discuss strategic alliances between big pharma and small biotech.

List Mania: Top IP Developments of 2016 04/04/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Computer Software & Hardware, Intellectual Property, Internet and E-Commerce, Privacy and Data Security, Telecommunications & Networking.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

wrs-headshot-photo-2016-m0980966xb1386While you may have been distracted by a tumultuous 2016, at MBBP we have been monitoring developments in intellectual property. We are happy to present, in no particular order, our list of the top IP developments of 2016, plus an Honorable Mention for 2017.

In the full article on our website, “List Mania: Top IP Developments of 2016“, Bill Schmidt covers the following developments:

  1. Patent Infringement Plaintiffs Get a “Halo”: Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. and Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc.
  2. A Light at the End of the Tunnel for Software Patents?: Enfish v. Microsoft Corp.
  3. High Octane Fee Shifting: Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon health & Fitness, Inc.
  4. Limits on “Common Sense”: Arendi S.A.R.L. v. Apple
  5. Shhh… It’s a Secret: Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016
  6. Designs, Damages, and Dinner Plates: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co.
  7. Personal Information Expressway: EU-US Privacy Shield Framework
  8. In Defense of Abbott and Costello: TCA Television Corp. v. McCollum
  9. Thanks, but No Thanks: UK votes to exit the European Union
  10. Honorable Mention for 2017: CRISPR/Cas9

Early-Stage Life Science Financing Event – March 30 03/09/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Events, Life Sciences, MBBP news.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

JMH Headshot Photo 2015 (M0846571xB1386)Don’t miss our next event, Money and Molecules: Early-Stage Life Science Financing, on Thursday, March 30 from 3:30-5pm at the Cambridge Innovation Center. Moderated by corporate attorney John Hession, a panel of experts will discuss the current complex financing environment for early-stage life science companies. Among other topics, the panel discussion will include:

  • Formulate a comprehensive and coherent financing strategy
  • Construct a financing strategy that fits the company’s timetable and milestones
  • Understand and handle the disadvantages of taking money from different investor types
  • Understand and leverage the advantages of different classes of investors
  • Optimize their chances for success

View our event page for more information and to register for the event.

Pick Up the (Patent Process) Pace! 03/07/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Intellectual Property, Life Sciences.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

LMW Headshot Photo 2015 (M0846622xB1386)A common frustration for patent applicants is the incredibly slow pace at which an application proceeds from filing to receipt of a substantive examination report to allowance. On average it takes 15.7 months for a patent application to receive even a first substantive examination report! The Patent Office has recognized this problem and implemented several initiatives which attempt to address the problem from different angles. Lisa Warren, MBBP Managing Partner and Patent Attorney, discusses the Patent Prosecution Highway and the Track One program in her new article.

Interested in moving your patent application into the fast lane? Contact Lisa directly.

MBBP Client Atrex Receives Canadian Standards Association Approval for Remote Power Generators 03/02/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Manufacturing, Retail & Service.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Firm client Atrex Energy, Inc. received approval from a Canadian standards group for its remote power generators, which are used in applications for the oil and gas industry. This is the first-ever certification from the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) under its new FC-1 Standard for its high efficiency and fuel flexible ARP units. CSA certification is a rigorous standard of safety, and as such recognizes the safety and reliability of the technology in Atrix’s remote power generators. Many customers require equipment to have the certification, making this a major achievement for Atrex.

Atrex is based in Walpole, MA and its products offer low carbon, environmental solutions for essential off-grid power needs. To read more about the certification and Atrex’s remote power generators, read the full article featured in the latest edition of North American Oil & Gas Pipelines.

MBBP’s 2016 M&A Year in Review 02/14/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Corporate, Deal News, Internet and E-Commerce, M&A, Manufacturing, Retail & Service, Public Companies.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

The MBBP M&A team has extensive experience guiding clients through the complexities of M&A transactions in diverse markets. Over the last decade, we have represented hundreds of publicly-traded and privately-held companies in transactions, both buyers and sellers, valued from several million dollars up to hundreds of millions of dollars. For a sampling of our 2016 transactions, visit our M&A blog.

squares.jpg

Mary Beth Kerrigan Was Encore Panelist at CLE Webinar on Venture Backed M&A 02/10/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, M&A, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

M0846587Back by popular demand, corporate partner Mary Beth Kerrigan spoke on an encore panel of this year’s ABA Business Law Annual Meeting, titled “Venture Backed M&A: Special Considerations”.  Mary Beth and her fellow panelists discussed complex issues that commonly arise in acquisitions of venture-backed companies, including complicated waterfalls, the blurring of management incentives with purchase price, and much more.

Congratulations to Mary Beth on another job well done!

To learn more about the conference, visit the ABA’s event page.

MBBP Held Series A Venture Capital Financing Event at Cambridge Innovation Center on 2/2/2017 02/06/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Events, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

MBBP’s corporate partner Scott Bleier moderated our VC group’s event, “Series A Venture Capital Financing: A Review of 2016 and a Look Forward to M08465002017″ at the Cambridge Innovation Center on Thursday, February 2nd. Scott led our panel of VC and angel investors through a series of critical questions regarding raising capital. Additionally, the presentation included a review of 2016 Series A financing activity and preferred stock terms, and a forecast of financing activity for 2017.

Make sure you’re on the invite for the next Venture Capital event! Read more on our VCs and Startups blog or sign up for VC Alerts.

 

MBBP Trademark Client FusionStorm Earns Ultra-Exclusive Dell EMC Titanium Black Honor 02/01/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Computer Software & Hardware.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

MBBP’s trademark client FusionStorm has truly earned its stripes over the past six years fusionstorm-logoafter receiving more than a dozen Partner of the Year vendor awards, and recently having been handpicked as one of the partners to join the extremely exclusive Dell EMC Titanium Black program. This program gives FusionStorm access to a broad range of exclusive benefits aimed at driving sales growth, and also provides the company with the ability to meet, confer, and brief with Dell’s top technologists and Dell EMC CEO Michael Dell. FusionStorm’s CEO of five years, Dan Serpico, has attributed the company’s success to its ability to adapt to how the environment and market each shift, to maintain the company’s strong relationships with vendors and customers, and to lead the company through shifts in the industry.

The company’s entrepreneurial sales approach and technical expertise have served to build the company’s culture, and in turn, its ability to deliver its service product. Serpico attributes the company’s great success to FusionStorm’s employees and their innovative ideas, as listening and paying attention to the workers is another segment of FusionStorm’s culture. The company works incredibly hard to remain ahead of competitors in order to predict shifts and remain relevant within the industry. With the company’s recent and incredible success, Serpico emphasizes the importance of continuous innovation, and the company pays very close attention to the future of the industry, and how FusionStorm will remain a part of it. Congratulations to FusionStorm!

For more information, read the full article.

Dr. Kaushik Chowdhury Named as a Recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers 01/31/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Life Sciences.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

drchowdhury

Michael J Cavaretta (MJC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, PC congratulates Dr. Kaushik Chowdhury, Director of Northeastern University’s Next Generation Networks and Systems (GENESYS) Lab, on recently being named as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) – the highest honor given by the US government to science and engineering professionals.

This summer, MBBP Partner Mike Cavaretta served as Business Mentor to Dr. Chowdhury’s team as part of the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps™ program, which offers select participants from US academic laboratories the opportunity to participate in a special, accelerated version of Stanford University’s Lean LaunchPad course. As part of this intensive program, Mike worked closely with Dr. Chowdhury and his I-Corps™ team to help move ground-breaking Radio Frequency (RF) Energy Harvesting technology developed at Dr. Chowdhury’s GENESYS Lab out of the lab and into the market.

Congratulations to Dr. Chowdhury!

MBBP’s Joshua Watson quoted in Bloomberg article discussing private equity tax and financial reform in the Trump era 01/30/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Corporate, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Corporate partner Joshua H. Watson was quoted in a Bloomberg article discussing possible changes to the private equity industry during Donald Trump’s presidency. The article details the top three priorities for the private equity industry as Trump takes office: carried interest, interest deductibility, and changing Dodd-Frank registration requirements. jhw-headshot-photo-2016-m0966396xb1386

Regarding Dodd-Frank requirements, Josh notes that if the reform act passed by Obama’s administration is rolled-back, particularly in regards to registration requirements for private equity firms, there could be bipartisan political support for exempting more small firms from registering. Specifically, Josh states that “if small to mid-sized managers are able to spend less of their resources on compliance, they will have more resources available for making and managing investments.”

For further detail, read the full article or contact Josh directly.

MBBP Client MindChild Medical, Inc. Receives FDA Clearance of Fetal Heart Monitor 01/26/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Medical Devices.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

MindChild Medical, Inc., a client of MBBP, has received FDA clearance for its Pre-Marketing Notification (510(k)) for its MERIDIAN™ M110 non-invasive fetal heart monitor. The FDA clearance will enable MindChild to enter the U.S. market with MERIDIAN™.

MindChild’s MERIDIAN™ M110 Fetal Monitoring System is an intrapartum fetal monitor that externally measures and displays fetal heart rate, maternal heart rate, and uterine contractions.

MindChild was founded in 2008 and is a privately funded medical device company. To learn more about the MERIDIAN™ device and MindChild, read the full press release.

Congratulations to MindChild on this achievement!

MBBP’s Client Officeworks, and CEO Mark Loughlin, Expanding Into New York City 01/24/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Manufacturing, Retail & Service.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

MBBP’s client Officeworks, an office furniture dealership and consulting firm based in Boston, is expanding into the New York City office furniture market with current CEO Mark Loughlin and newly hired Principal David Quinn at the helm. Loughlin purchased the company in 2010, and sales began to skyrocket with growth being 10x what it had previously been within five years. Loughlin attributes the company’s success to exceptional customer service and a dynamic working environment that is conducive to new ideas and innovation.

By placing the utmost importance on the employees, Loughlin believes that the company is laying a strong foundation upon which to continue to grow. With Officeworks being one of two authorized dealers of Teknion furniture within the New York City market, this will give the company an edge as they settle into their new environment. However, being that Officeworks was named Teknion Dealer of the Year due to its dominating success and astounding sales growth, it would seem they have had their edge for quite some time, and will continue to prove it in the Big Apple. Congratulations to Officeworks!

For more information, read the full article.

MBBP client, Whitehead Institute, featured in New York Times article discussing Genomic research 01/12/2017

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Life Sciences.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

whitehead-institute-client-logo-sm-m0055040xb1386The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, a client of MBBP, is featured in a New York Times article about progressive research on topologically associating domains (TADs) in DNA.

As the article explains, TADs are a newly discovered design feature of the genome that partition different groups of genes into neighborhoods. If these partitions are broken, various diseases may occur.

By conducting research on TADs, scientists hope to gain a more in depth understanding of how gene expression is controlled. Dr. Richard Young of the Whitehead Institute and his team are involved in TADs research and are continuing to push the boundaries of knowledge about genetic neighborhoods.

For more information, read the full article.

Contours of Copyright #4: No Protection for Game Play 12/21/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Games & Interactive Entertainment, Intellectual Property.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

The battle between an Ancient Chinese themed game, and a Wild-West game, reminds us that rules of game play are generally not protectable by copyright, but certain expressive game aspects may be.HGZ Headshot Photo 2015 (M0846618xB1386)

Discussion: The plaintiff in DaVinci Editrice v. ZiKo Games (S.D. Tex. 2016) published Bang!, a role-playing card game with Wild-West themes that became a world-wide success. Bang! players are assigned one of four roles – Sheriff, Deputy, Outlaw or Renegade – each with its own “winning condition” (e.g., the Sheriff wins by outliving the Outlaws and Renegades).  Each player also gets assigned a card evoking a familiar Wild-West character (e.g., Calamity Janet) with its own unique ability and 1-to-5 “life points.” Players also draw “weapon cards” (enabling them to reduce competitors’ life points) and “mount cards” (enabling them to gain distance from competitors, making them harder to attack).

One defendant, Yoka Games, based in China, produced the card game Legends of the Three Kingdoms, distributed in the U.S. by the other defendant, ZiKo Games, LLC. Despite the different setting (Ancient China) and accompanying different artwork, the four roles in LOTK – Monarch, Minister, Rebel and Turncoat – had the same abilities, functions, goals and winning conditions as the comparable roles in Bang!; players were subject to nearly identical rules of play; players drew Chinese hero cards with similar abilities and life points as the Bang! character cards; and similar action cards were used.

Notwithstanding procedural wrangling over the lay vs. expert status of a witness and arguments about the significance of various similarities, this was an easy summary judgment for the Court:  “Bang!’s characters, roles, and interactions are not substantially similar to those in LOTK. The aspects of the roles, characters, and interactions that are similar are not expressive, and aspects that are expressive are not substantially similar. ZiKo and Yoka are entitled to summary judgment of noninfringement.”

An Interlude for Copyright Aficionados:  The Court’s reasoning begins with the black letter principle that copyright protects expression, not ideas. Therefore, “Copyright does not protect game rules because they fall within the section 102(b) exceptions for an ‘idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation’.”

On the other hand, the Court acknowledges that “courts have found expressive elements copyrightable, including game labels, design of game boards, playing cards and graphical works.” The present dispute focuses on the roles and characters and their interactions, which are very similar in both games. Thus, the key issue is: Are the characters’ similar interactions “unprotectable game play,” as the defendants argue, or “protectable expressive content,” as the plaintiffs argue?

The Court begins by distinguishing two types of games: (1) those like books and movies, which have a progression of events (plot) and developed characters (who interact following a script) “that make the game expressive” (e.g., The Legend of Zelda), and (2) those like NBA games, which consist of “loosely prescribed progression” (“teams trade offensive possessions over four quarters”) between players with assigned roles (guard, forward, center) but without predetermined interactions, which are therefore neither expressive nor copyrightable.

Bang!, says the Court, “has no specific plot or detailed information about the characters that tells us what these characters will do or how they will interact with other characters.” Rather, like basketball, Bang! has created a number of roles, defined their alignment with and opposition to other roles, and created rules for their interaction, but has not created a scripted or detailed performance for each game.  Thus, Bang! is more basketball than novel, and its character interactions are not protected by copyright.

The Court also addresses character copyright and explains why LOTK wasn’t infringing, despite the near-identity of the 4 main roles (excluding their look and labels). The answer lies in the “distinctiveness” requirement: To earn copyright protection, characters cannot be stock, generic or indistinct, but must embody enough original expression to attain copyrightability. However, “Bang! has no specific plot or detailed information about the characters… LOTK’s alignment of roles tracks Bang!’s, which in turn was drawn from the general alignment of stock characters in ‘spaghetti Westerns.’”

The Court also considers and rejects the plaintiff’s argument that, even if the characters themselves are not copyrighted, their special abilities may be: “The Bang! characters’ abilities are largely drawn from stock-character abilities. Like a punch or kick in a karate game, Bang! characters’ abilities are common in games in which the object is to kill the other players.” Moreover: “Even if the Bang! characters’ abilities were not stock, they are still not expressive because they are essentially rules of game play.”

A similar conclusion applies to the plaintiff’s key claim, namely, that the Bang! characters’ interactions via the game rules are themselves subject to copyright. But that argument fails here for the same reason it failed at the higher level of character copyright: “Bang! characters do not have delineated personalities, temperaments, back stories, or other features typical of characters in movies and books that contribute to making those characters’ interactions protected.”

Conclusion: The Court was mindful that game rules are generally not copyrightable, a principle that anchored its holding in favor of the defendants. However, the Court did recognize at least three game elements that could potentially give rise to copyrights:

  1. expressive graphics or other original visual elements;
  2. a relatively fixed progression of themes, dialog, mood, setting and character; or
  3. well-delineated characters themselves.

Still, if a character (whether in a novel, film or videogame) is not sufficiently distinct to be copyrightable – which may be because it is a “stock” character defined only by generic traits, or because it is a positional player guided only by rules of play – then its interactions with other characters will not be copyrightable, unless these interactions are at least partly fixed or scripted.

In short, despite displaying some of the artistry of its namesake, DaVinci’s characters (and their traits and interactions) were too stock and generic to be copyrightable … and thus its suit failed to produce more bucks for its Bang!.

For more information on this topic, please contact Howard Zaharoff.

MBBP’s Client Abpro Collaborating with MedImmune on Medical Advancement 12/01/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Corporate, Life Sciences, Medical Devices.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

MBBP’s client Abpro, a pioneer in the field of industrial biochemistry, has recently entered into a Collaboration Agreement with MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca. The collaboration will advance the development of a preclinical, novel bispecific antibody targeting angiopoietin-2 and vascular endothelial growth factor (Ang2-VEGF). Abpro will contribute its strong scientific, technical and clinical expertise to this partnership, along with its core technology platform, DiversImmuneTM, which will be utilized to further develop the bispecific antibody. Ian Chan, CEO and co-founder of Abpro, has expressed the Company’s enthusiasm towards collaborating with MedImmune, as the two businesses work together to advance these innovative therapeutics into the clinic.

For more information, read the full article.

%d bloggers like this: