Minneapolis patent attorney Jim Nelson of Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner explains how Claim Maps can assist on working with BioSimilars.
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Claim maps are something that our firm is very good at. And a claim map provides – it’s really, I would say, an analog description of the landscape of patents that cover a particular product. So irrespective of whether it’s an integrated chip for electronics or a new kinda dog collar or a pharmaceutical or a chemical invention or a new way to drill oil wells or biological, what these claim maps do is they identify the patent or patents that cover the product you’re interested in. And then what they do is they take a look at your product and they identify the patents that will raise a problem and the patents that you’re free and clear off. And the claim maps are interactive so that you can go into your – to the description of your product and you can change the variables for your product and you can see which of the patents then go away. So the claim map is very valuable that way.
Typically, the claim map is analogous to freedom to operate. And in the old days, we would prepare this very big document, it was maybe 200 pages long. We would search for the patents that relate to your product, we would analyze each patent, and we would write this long document, 200 pages long, about freedom to operate, that you are free and clear of all these patents or that there are some patents that raise an issue. Well, you might imagine reading a 200-page document, you get to page 160 and you’ve forgotten what’s on page 2 and what’s on page 10. Very difficult because this written document really is providing the information to you as digital information one letter at a time, the letters make words, the words make sentences, the sentences make paragraphs, the paragraphs make pages, and there comes the ideas, but it’s digital. One piece at a time.
A claim map is not digital, but it’s analog. It’s like the clock on the wall. It provides the whole picture in one sweep. It’s a picture. And so you’re able to look at it and say, “Oh, it’s patent number three and patent number six and patent number eight, you can see that all at once, that raise problems. And then you can do the variation of your product to see how patents three, six, and eight go away or how they stay. That’s a claim map, and it’s very, very helpful not only for the attorneys at your company or your firm, but it’s also helpful for the people on the front lines who are developing products. The engineers, the scientists, the biologists, the biochemists, the chemists who are doing the frontline work.