patent

How Patent Madness Is Killing Innovation and Costing Us Billions

Big creative companies like Apple are taking out patents on everything they can think of -- lest they develop an idea only to discover someone else claimed it first. That may sound sensible on the surface -- but the rules of the patent game are actually doing more harm than good.

Top-Selling Drugs About to Lose Patent Protection

The pharmaceutical industry is about to fall off a cliff -- a patent cliff. Over the next few years, some of the world's most popular and lucrative medicines will go off patent, and generic competition will siphon an estimated quarter of a trillion dollars from companies' bottom lines. Here's a rundown:

RPX's Plan: Make a Fortune by Fixing the Patent Mess

RPX has been in business since just 2008, but it has rapidly built a list of big-name clients attracted to its novel service. It offers tech companies a way to gain access to patents without having to own them outright -- and without having to deal with litigious "patent trolls."

Amazon's Plan to Save You From Unwanted Gifts

While it may sound more Scrooge than Santa Claus, Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, has filed a patent for technology that would allow customers to return -- or "convert" -- gifts they don't like, even before they actually arrive.

Pfizer's Potential Arthritis Drug Works in Late-Stage Trial

Pfizer shares were down more than 1% Monday afternoon despite the pharmaceutical giant's report Sunday of successful late-stage trial results for an experimental rheumatoid arthritis drug. The study showed tasocitinib reduced pain and inflammation and improved physical function in patients with moderately to severely active RA.

Does Amazon's E-Reader Patent Put Nook at Risk?

The ongoing battle of the e-readers between Amazon and Barnes & Noble was already plenty heated after their under-$200 pricing moves earlier this month. Now the competition takes an intriguing twist due to a recent patent ruling that not only puts Amazon way ahead, but threatens the very existence of B&N's popular device, the Nook.

AstraZeneca Stock Jumps After Court Ruling on Crestor

AstraZeneca shares surged by almost 9% Tuesday after the company scored a win in court regarding the patent for its cholesterol treatment, Crestor. The ruling means that AstraZeneca won't have to worry about generic competition for its multibillion-dollar statin until 2016.

Pharmaceutical Sales Reps: An Endangered Species?

Pharmaceutical sales representatives have been battered during the recession -- thousands were laid off by drugmakers hunting for ways to trim their budgets. But even if the economy recovers with a vengeance, don't expect pharmaceutical firms to go on a hiring binge.

GlaxoSmithKline's Witty: Do-Gooder or Good at PR?

He's young, charismatic, innovative and has got heart. At least that's the impression GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty gives to the outside world. GSK is allowing free access to its library of 13,500 potential malaria treatments. Is he genuinely a do-gooder or just good at PR?