William Needle, Esq. from the Atlanta office of Ballard Spahr and Dr. Gibson Lanier, Esq. spoke at the August 5th meeting at the Nevada Cancer Institute. Needle has a BS in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a JD from Emory and has practiced for over 39 years in patents and trademarks. Dr. Gibson Lanier served as a post-doctoral fellow at the Emory Vaccine Center. He earned his JD from Georgia State University and practices at Ballard Spahr in Atlanta.
Mr. Needle has served as lead counsel in numerous intellectual property cases such as the Cabbage Patch Kids® dolls as well as patent infringement actions involving diverse technologies. Dr. Lanier has applied his knowledge to inventions associated with molecular biology, infectious disease, immunological responses, cancer treatments, stem cells, and vaccine development.
Needle and Lanier spoke for 90 minutes about changes in the patent law and current cases. Their primary emphasis was to patent ideas before they are published. If a discovery is not patented, there is no protection for the investors. The investors are the ones that commercialize the ideas. Both attorneys have seen discoveries that are not followed up because the researcher lost their opportunity to file a patent. This is a good point for biotechnology and science researchers.