Partners Author Two-Part Series on the Patenting of Medical Devices

June 23, 2011

Members of Marshall, Gerstein & Borun's Medical Devices Group recently authored a two-part series of articles published in Medical Design Magazine addressing patents and the patenting process. Directed to start-ups and small to medium-sized medical device companies, the article entitled, "Patents Foster Innovation," appeared in the May issue of the magazine and the article entitled, "International Patents Pose Challenges," appeared in the June issue.

In the first part, partner Richard M. LaBarge contrasted patents with other forms of intellectual property, such as trade secrets. Mr. LaBarge also discussed the patenting process, including recent attempts by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to accelerate the process. Finally, Mr. LaBarge considered some common missteps that companies make that can jeopardize their patent portfolios.

In the second part, partner Patrick D. Ertel considered the patenting of medical devices outside the US. After surveying the differences between US and foreign patent systems, Mr. Ertel discussed the mechanisms that the applicant can use to broaden their foreign portfolio while controlling costs. In the final section of the article, Mr. Ertel discussed the disparate treatment afforded to methods of medical treatment in the US and abroad.

Richard M. LaBarge is a partner at Marshall Gerstein & Borun LLP in Chicago, Illinois, a law firm that is devoted exclusively to intellectual property matters. He has been helping physicians and small and medium-sized medical device manufacturers obtain and enforce patents for over a quarter of a century.

Patrick D. Ertel was recognized as a leading IP strategist, having been placed on Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Magazine’s list of the 250 top IP strategists for the past three years. Mr. Ertel had considerable experience with medical devices generally, and focused his considerable skills on counseling a major manufacturer of continence care products as to its US and foreign patent portfolios.