The search for a vaccine for the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus has put the spotlight once again on the innovative pharmaceuticals sector.  As pharmaceutical companies and innovators across the globe work diligently on a vaccine, many of these companies may be looking to protect their innovation. While patents have many benefits, in the face of a global health emergency, there are some key factors innovators should consider.

Timeline for Patent Registration

Patents can provide broad protection for invention and innovation.  They can also create a significant advantage in the marketplace. However, patent registration takes time and may require significant resources. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), on average, it takes approximately 22 months to get patent approval.  This period may be shortened by taking advantage of one of the USPTO’s accelerated examination procedures and may be shortened by utilizing the USPTO prioritized examination option, where a final decision on patentability is made within 12 months from the filing date of the patent application.
Continue Reading The Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine is On: Key Factors May Impact Patent Protection

The enforceability of restrictive covenants, particularly non-compete agreements, can be very difficult for employers to navigate, especially for companies in their “start-up” phase. Technology companies in particular face challenges in
Continue Reading A Non-Compete Law Roadmap for Tech Start-Ups in Key Jurisdictions

This GT Advisory considers the application of state unclaimed property laws to cryptocurrencies, and the potential implications and challenges of such application for both industry participants and state unclaimed property
Continue Reading Cryptocurrencies and Unclaimed Property: Potential Implications of State Escheat Laws for the Blockchain Technology Industry

On May 23, 2019, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 1024 (Florida Blockchain Bill) into law to establish the Florida Blockchain Task Force (Blockchain Task Force) within the Florida Department
Continue Reading Florida Creates Blockchain Task Force to Study Benefits of Blockchain Technology

Chinh Pham, co-chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Emerging Technology Practice, was featured in a TechCrunch article as part of a series covering start-up lawyers who founders love to work with. In
Continue Reading Greenberg Traurig’s Chinh Pham featured in TechCrunch Article: ‘Verified Expert Lawyer: Chinh Pham’

Today DHS released an advanced copy of its final rule allowing foreign students with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to extend their Optional Practical Training (OPT) for an additional 24 months. DHS will publish the final rule in the Federal Register this Friday.  The rule will go into effect on May 10. Beginning May 10, students who are currently in the U.S. under their 17-month STEM OPT extension will be able to file to extend their OPT for an additional 7 months.

This rule gives foreign students with STEM degrees the opportunity to work in the United States for up to 36 months.  The extended time period offers a number of benefits to foreign students and U.S. employers that wish to hire them.  By defining fields of study that qualify for STEM in accordance with the Department of Education’s Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) categories, the new rule expands on the permissible fields of study that were authorized under the old STEM rule.  Notably, increasing OPT work authorization from 29 months to 36 months will give F-1 STEM OPT holders more chances at being selected for an H-1B visa number in the annual H-1B lottery.  The rule also redresses the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s vacatur of the 2008, 17-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) STEM Extension rule, and part of the contentious legal battle surrounding the overall validity of the STEM extension program, which is expected to be decided by a Federal court in May.


Continue Reading DHS Set to Publish Final Rule Allowing Further STEM OPT Extensions for Foreign Students