Israel Patent Number 94634, Extending and Shortening Patent Term Extensions

August 18, 2014

Rapamune Sirolimus

Under Section 64 of the Law, basic pharmaceutical patents may be extended for up to five years past the 20 years standard maximum term, in order that the drug developer is able to market the drug exclusively for a period of up to nine years. Since the Patent Term extension was first introduced, granting patent term extensions, but enabling generic competitors to try to synthesize but not stockpile the patented drug, the Law has been amended a couple of times. The first time was the seventh amendment, designed to allow Israel generics to compete with generic companies in other jurisdictions by reducing the term of patent term extension in Israel, to the shortest term allowed in another jurisdiction having patent term extensions (Bolar Countries). Under US pressure that the Israel Law was too generous to generic companies, the Law was amended again in the eleventh amendment in 2014.

Sir Roy Calne filed Israel Patent Number 94634 for COMPOSITIONS INHIBITING TRANSPLANT REJECTION IN MAMMALS USING RAPAMYCIN AND DERIVATIVES AND A CHEMOTHERAPEUTIC AGENT in June 1990, claiming priority from a case filed in June 1989. The patent issued in July 1996.

In June 2001, the applicants requested an patent term extension and in September 2002, a sole license was granted to Wyeth.

The drug was registered in January 2001 and an extension was granted in January 2004. The extension covers the drug RAPAMUNE and the active ingredient SIROLIMUS. The drug term extension was granted on the basis of the corresponding US patent no. US 5,100,899 whose product received marketing approval back in September 1999.

In the request for patent term extension, the applicant reserved the right to change the basic patent they were basing the application on, if a different patent of a Bolar country should lapse earlier.

the patent term extension issued on 25 January 2004 and the applicant was informed that it would publish in the January 2004 journal. No oppositions were filed against this extension. In the same letter, the Examiner requested that the applicant update regarding any patent term extension of the basic patent in the US, and any other patent extensions.

In November 2004, the applicant responded that the US patent application was still pending and that he required a time extension to respond to the Examiner. Furthermore, the applicant noted that it was examining the possibility of basing the patent term on the corresponding Australian patent.  After further correspondence, it transpired that the Australian patent term was extended until 5 June 2015 and the applicant therefore requested a full five-year extension in Israel based on the Australian patent.

After the 7th amendment of 2006, to the Patent Law, the applicants were required to detail all patent term extensions and to provide copies of the documentation regarding the license to sell the drugs and the patent term extensions. Neither the applicants or their representatives responded to this request.

In January 2013, the Association of Israeli Pharmacists filed a request to cancel the extension order, which was accompanied by an affidavit from Dr Ron Tomer (a director of Unipharm), who is a member of the committee of the chemical and pharmaceutical division of the Association of Israeli Pharmacists.

In June 2013, Wyeth responded to the cancellation request, submitting an affidavit of Dr Alvin David Joran, the legal adviser of Pfizer Inc. who had purchased Wyeth in 2013. The Association of Israeli Pharmacists filed a counter argument that included an Opinion by Elizabeth J Holland, an attorney at Kenyon and Kenyon, and also a further affidavit of Dr Ron Tomer. Pfizer decided not to cross-examine  Elizabeth J Holland on her affidavit but both Dr Alvin David Joran and Dr Ron Tomer were cross-examined in a hearing on 27 May 2013.

The Association of Israeli Pharmacists maintain that under the 7th Amendment, the longest available extension should be no more than 7 July 2013. Furthermore, this was the longest period available before the 7th Amendment, i.e. based on US 5,100,899. Furthermore, there is a specific and explicit requirement for equitable behaviour in Section 64B(i) and the applicants failure to respond tot he requirement to detail all patent term extensions and to provide copies of the documentation regarding the license to sell the drugs and the patent term extensions was itself grounds to deny any further extension.

The patentee argued that the interim arrangement of the 7th amendment damaged their property rights and was thus illegal. The patent term extension was legally obtained and the patentee followed their legal advisors. Their whole business plan was based on the patent term extension that was granted.

The Ruling

The interim period is covered by Section 22 of the 7th amendment:

“(a) The rulings of the Law, including Section 164a and Section 18 apply to pending requests for extension periods that were applied for before this law comes into effect, providing that the basic patent has not yet lapsed.

(b) Despite that written in part(a) above, the period of patent term extensions that issued prior to this amendment entering into effect, will not suffer due to them not fulfilling the constraints of parts (5) and (6) of Section 64(d) of the main Law, as it appears in part 3 of this law.

On the face of it, the interim period applies to the present case, where the patent term extension was granted on 5 June 2005, and the patent would have lapsed on 6 june 2010, which is after the amendment entered into force in January 2006. That said, the patentees claim that this is illegal in that there property rights are retroactively cancelled.

The Commissioner noted that this was not the first time that the validity of the various amendments to the patent term extension of the Patent Law has been challenged. See for example 70390 Wyeth vs. Dexcel LTD (ruling by then Deputy Commissioner Axelrod), 83148 Roche Diagnostics GmbH (ruling by then Commissioner, Dr Meir Noam). In those rulings the interim arrangement and its legality in the face of Section 8 of the 1980 Basic Law “Human Honour and Freedom”.  In those cases, it was ruled that the interim arrangement was legal and did not contravene the property rights enshrined in the Basic Law.

Without entering the basic issue of retrospective legislation, it is clear that the interim arrangement includes balances. In Wyeth, Axelrod summarizes “in all cases where there is a point in time that legislation comes into effect, there will always be parties that find themselves on the right and wrong sides of this time period.”

Similarly in Roche, Dr Noam ruled that the entire edifice of Intellectual Property is built on balances between competing interests, and the legislators are allowed to periodically change the point of balance. This is still the case if the balance is to address the disadvantage of the Israel generic drug industry. Furthermore, he went on to rule that interim periods are sometimes to address discrimination against one party or another, and sometimes simply to enable a smooth transition from one regime to another. Although the interim period has to be constitutional, judges should minimize their interference with legislation. (3734/11 Dodian et al.. vs State of Israel).

The current Commissioner, Asa Kling could not see justification in deviating from his predecessors regarding their positions concerning the interim period. He also noted that this wasn’t an issue of the interim period at all, but of the whole amendment, which moved the point of balance in favour of the generic industries.  Since the court had accepted the legality of the amendment in Lundbeck I and Lundbeck II, Novartis and Neurim he considered the issue moot. It is for the legislative body to determine the correct balance between competing interests, and he should be very careful before encroaching on that power. Particularly concerning the economy, one should be particularly circumspect. It is not for the courts to determine economic policy, determine economci preferences or to change internal balances. see 4769/95 Menachem vs. Ministry of Transport and 3145/99 Bank of Israel vs. Hazan.

The Commissioner noted that the amendment was not being challenged, implicitly accepting that the balance struck was fair. Rather, the issue was only that of changing the period. Anyway, the Supreme Court has noted that adversely affecting predicted sales was not to be considered as detrimentally affecting property rights, and Joran’s affidavit was insufficient to base a counter-claim.

The Commissioner also noted that the amendment itself was amended again in Amendment 11 of 2014, although this does not materially affect the issue.

Section 64(9)a states that the Extension period will remain in force, subject to Section 64(10), for a period comparable to the minimum period of any extension granted to the basic patent in a country having patent term extensions. Section 64(10) states that despite Section 64(9), (3) the patent term extension will lapse no later than the period under which the first patent term extension lapses in on a recognized country.

There is no argument that the US patent was extended for 1492 days and lapsed on 7 July 2013. This was the first patent to lapse and is the shortest period of any extension allowed.

Both Holland and Joran claimed that there was also an additional six months pediatric exclusivity period in the US . The Commissioner rejected this claim noting that Section 64(10)3 relates to the patent term extension and does not relate to other exclusive rights. This interpretation is in accordance with the ruling concerning Kirin-Amgen, Inc. 110669.

As the request for cancelling the further extension was accepted, the claims concerning the equitable behaviour of the patentee were considered moot.

In light of the above, Commissioner Asa Kling ruled that the patent in question will lapse in July 2013 and notice of this will issue in the July 2014 journal.

Israel Patent Number 94634, The Association of Israeli Pharmacists vs. Sir Roy Calne  and Wyeth, Ruling Asa Kling 13, July 2014.

 

 

 

 


IL 195087 Throwing out an Opposition

June 28, 2014

throw out

Novartis filed a patent application, IL 195087, which was eventually allowed and published for opposition purposes on 31 October 2012. Unipharm filed such an Opposition on 3 January 2013, and claims and counter-claims were exchanged. On 2 October 2013, the director of Unipharm, Zebulun Tomer, filed an affidavit.

In response, and in consequence of the nature and contents of this evidence, on 26 November 2013, Unipharm requested that the opposition be thrown out.

Novartis, represented by Luzzatto et Luzzatto, claimed that Unpiharm was misusing the patent opposition procedure by filing a response to the Counter-Statement of Case in the guise of a submission of evidence. As an alternative position, the Applicant was willing to accept that the Evidence be deleted.

In response, the Patent Office noted that courts allow cases to be thrown out in exceptional circumstances, such as Appeal 693/82 Shemesh vs. The Land Registry P.D. 40(2) 668, 671-672 (1986).  Similarly, the Patent Office is willing to throw a case out only in extreme cases (See then Deputy Commissioner Axelrod in 122161, 122162, 122118. Warner Lambert Co. vs. Unipharm, 14 May 2001 :if in a regular Civil dispute, throwing a case out is an extreme measure, how much more so in patent oppositions”. This is particularly the case with patents, since there is a public interest that the patent register remains clean. Essentially, frivolous law suits without a chance of success may be thrown out in early stages, but once the case has started, the sides deserve their day in court. In Warner Lambert, Unipharm didn’t bother filing an affidavit, and the case wasn’t thrown out, so it seems clear that in the present case, where there was an affidavit, albeit arguably a problematic one, clearly there wasn’t sufficient grounds to throw out the case.

With reference to the specific case, the Affidavit seemed top follow the original Statement of Case and didn’t seem to be a widening of the grounds for opposition. Novartis failed to explain why they considered it unacceptable.

The request to throw out the case was thrown out, and the Novartis and costs of 5000 Shekels were awarded to Unipharm.

COMMENT

Whilst there are some patent oppositions that are filed for economical reasons where sometimes there may be minimal legal justification, Unipharm has a strong track record of successfully opposing patents and voiding issued patents. we watch developments with interest.


Secondary Use Claims – Some Thoughts…

June 27, 2014

second use

Yesterday I attended a meeting of the Association of Israel Patent Attorneys in ZOA  House, Tel Aviv. The invitation and program were blogged here.

The topic under discussion was Secondary Use Claims. Unfortunately, I arrived late and missed the first talk by Adv. Yair Ziv, but caught most of Adv. David Gilat’s presentation, that of Dr Ron Tomer, and that of Ena Pugatsch.

The event was well-organized and well attended. From the remains of the refreshments by the time I arrived, they seemed the usual ZOA fayre. Kudos to the committee headed by Ex-Commissioner Dr Noam, for organizing the event. There were 85 participants in the meeting. This is impressive for a highly specialized topic at an event open to a small organization (noting with approval however, that there were both lawyers and in-house patent coordinators present that are not patent attorneys and thus not members, and also trainees).

Adv. David Gilat posited that drug patents were necessary to compensate the drug developers for their investment, and that secondary uses were also the result of research.  Dr Ron Tomer (confusingly called Dr Yaron Tomer in the original invitation to the event) expertly and clearly countered all of Davidi’s positions, and demonstrated that the pharma industry were creatively filing secondary uses that lacked inventive step and were obvious. He gave various examples. Firstly, he referred to sildenafil citrate, originally developed for treating angina and now used almost exclusively as a treatment for erectile disfunction, as a hard problem. (I thought it was a flaccid problem and a hard solution, but I digress). He went on to argue that an oncological drug for one type of cancer may fairly obviously be tried for another type of cancer since the underlying effects of the drug would treat both mutant cells the same way.  He noted that patents were not awarded for research but for inventions. He claimed that there was nothing new in the drug, despite the new use. He gave convincing examples of ever-greening, and also argued that if it is surprisingly found that a drug treatment for gastro-reflux also kills bacteria in the stomach, then the patient using it takes the same drug for the same purpose that he took it for originally. Since the drug is public domain he could take the generic drug, but to kill the bacteria, he’d have to take the patented drug for a couple of weeks and then move back to the generic. similarly, someone taking a generic statin for cholesterol, on being diagnosed as having genetic cholesterol, would have to switch to the patented version offering protection for this ‘secondary use.’ The talk was intelligent and entertaining, and it was a valuable demonstration of the ubsurd results of secondary use patents.

Ena Pugatsch gave an example of a secondary use claim for a mechanical device that issued in Israel and was upheld by the courts. The device in question was a blackboard that could be used as a screen for showing projected images, where the device and method of manufacture were known but the secondary use wasn’t, and the court upheld the patent. Comparing to European case-law and to US law, she felt that the ruling was ‘problematic’ (a nice way of saying that she considered that the court had got it wrong).

When the floor was opened for questions Mr Zebulun Tomer (Ron’s father and the director of Unipharm) took the opportunity, as he has done on other occasions, to give a little impassioned speech, rather than a question. He made some noises about the results of lobbying and argued that Section 7 prohibits therapeutic treatment of the person and that no-one can convince him that a secondary use is anything other than a method of treatment of the person. Instead of merely pointing out that the issue wasn’t convincing him, but of convincing neutral judge, Adv. David Gilat agreed with him, but said that this was precisely what the Use Claim (Swiss type claims) were for – that is, to allow patents for pharmaceutical methods of treatment despite the prohibition for patents for methods of therapeutic treatment, and this was because of the costs incurred in research and development.

COMMENTS

David Gilat spoke well as would be expected from an experienced litigator. Dr Tomer’s response was also very clear and well constructed. Ena Pugatsch is not an orator, nor is Hebrew her first language (or, I expect, her second language). Nevertheless, her talk, though not the most fluent, was the most thought provoking. All three speakers had far too much content per slide, but none are lecturers. Designing good slides is an art.

David and Ron each presented their opposing positions. As Gilat Bareket represents drug development companies and the Tomer family own Unipharm which manufactures generic drugs, their views were hardly unexpected. I suspect that those in the audience actively involved in prosecuting or litigating pharmaceuticals have equally strong positions based on their source of income. (Richard Luthi, another leading litigator who represents pharma, once told me that under the former Commissioner Dr Noam, the pharmaceutical development industry didn’t have a chance. Whether Dr Naom was biased, whether Unipharm had better arguments, or whether Adi Levit is simply a better litigator, is open to discussion).

The percentage of my income coming from work on pharmaceutical patents is very small. I’ve been involved with both local and foreign clients on both sides of the fence. I tend to find the generic companies’ arguments more persuasive, but can’t tell if this is an inherent bias or whether their arguments are actually better. It is also possible that drugs that are opposed or challenged in cancellation procedures are ones that generally should not have issued, and the both the drug development industries and their litigators have an uphill battle. What is clear, is that Unipharm have had some impressive victories in recent years against Mercke, Smithkline Glaxco, Lunbeck, etc.

Ena’s talk got me thinking. I believe that the original Section 7 law against methods of therapeutic treatment is a historic artefact designed to protect doctors from being sued and represents a moral position that despite obvious utility, novelty and inventive-step, such subject matter would not be patentable. It is a remnant from a period predating the modern pharmaceutical industry. David is correct however. Without effective patent protection, drug development companies would not invest the significant sums required to research and bring a new drug to market. The long approval period also justifies patent term extensions. This development is indeed the result of lobbying, but is, nevertheless, justified. What may not have been justified, is to apply the extensions on cases that were already filed, granting the pharma industry a massive handout that perhaps resulted in them NOT investing in developing new drugs.

Drug developing companies can fairly be accused of ever-greening, and their tactics in filing for secondary uses are commercially driven. However, despite the Special 301 Reports, the generic drug industry are not Robin Hood like outlaws. It is there right to challenge the validity of patents, and some applications are allowed that shouldn’t be. Nevertheless, I suspect that sometimes oppositions are filed for commercial rather than solid legal reasons.

The Swiss Claim (use claim) format is a legal work-around the method of therapeutic treatment clause. Use claims are acceptable in European and Israeli law and are essentially method claims. They do not exist in the US, however in the US one can file methods for therapeutic treatment. What one cannot do, is enforce them against the doctor or surgeon.

After TRIPS, it is clear that one cannot exclude drugs from patent protection. One can still have a principle against patenting methods of treatment. However, countries have to allow patent protection for drugs.

As David Gilat reminded us, patent term extensions were indeed allowed as a package with and justified by a bone thrown to the generic industry – the so-called TEVA amendment, allowing the generic companies to experiment and obtain marketing approval, but not to stock-pile generic patents prior to the patent terminating.  However, one right does not balance the other. Mr Zebulun Tomer is correct that the current balance is the result of lobbying. There were lobbyists on both sides. The ‘one size fits all’ patent law does fail for pharmaceutical patents if such patents have, in the past, been allowed after the 20 year expiry date.

As to second use, the first thing to understand is that use claims are method claims and should be treated as such. The Rav Bareakh crook-lock ruling by the Israel Supreme Court allows contributory infringement and inducement to infringe. However, in Srori vs. Regba, the fact that a sink could be mounted flush with the work surface was insufficient grounds to grant an injunction against the importer, since, As Adi Levit argued effectively, the sinks in question could be mounted under the work-surface, or could be mounted with the lip overlapping the work surface (over-mounted) or could be filled with earth and used as a flower-pot.  Thus, the proper infringers were the kitchen installation companies, and there was no effective bottle neck to sue in the supply chain.  Getting back to secondary uses for drugs, lets assume that using aspirin to dilute blood to prevent thrombosis is indeed novel and inventive. This does not prevent patients buying aspirin over the counter for treating aches and pains and then using it for the new patented use. Manufacturers of aspirin are not infringing the secondary use patent. Similarly, generally speaking, patents for secondary uses are not for the drug itself, but for its use in treating a particular illness. They are method claims. I agree with Dr Ron Tomer that the manufacturer is generally not the infringing party. The physician or patient might be, that the US exception against suing health care officials should apply. There are, of course, some particular dosages that are borderline cases. In such cases, the newly packaged drug is a new product. Whether or not, it is also inventive, is arguable.

Referring back to the blackboard; Ena is correct, it was not a new product, nor was its method of manufacture new. The novelty lay in the method of use, i.e. for projecting an image thereonto. The patent provided grounds for suing schools and teachers for direct infringing – both customers of the patentee and of competitors. This is a patent without teeth. If competing manufacturers note that their blackboards may also serve as a screen, is this inducement to infringe? Maybe it would be better for them to note that although the blackboards may be used as screens, this use is protected by Israel Patent Number IL XXXX, and as long as the patent is valid, is not allowed. This is very different from the crook-lock case where the imported part was designed and manufactured for combining with two common elements to provide the crook-lock, and could only be used for infringing the patent, or for a trivial use such as a paper-weight or land fill.

At the end of the day, it is the job of the patent attorney to draft patentable and enforceable claims. I note that in the US, the pendulum has recently swung away from secondary infringement. See US Supreme Court Ruling 12–786 Limelight Networks v Akamai Technologies Inc et al., June 2, 2014. I believe that often these cases result from poor claim drafting, as do Marksman disagreements. In the past, I drafted and successfully prosecuted a  patent for a kitchen sink AFTER Tsrori vs. Negba. See  US6782593B1.  I’ve also had fun drafting together with Adv. and Patent Attorney Tami Winitz a patent for a new method of using an existing heart valve, where I believe the creative claim-set provides enforceability. See US8408214B2.  Patent attorneys drafting applications try to protect their client’s inventions and stretch the law. Litigators opposing patents do the opposite. We all have our roles to play.

 


Novartis Attempts to Get Unipharm’s Opposition to IL 195087 Thrown Out

June 16, 2014
Opposition

Opposition

Israel Patent Application Number IL 195087 to Novartis titled “ANHYDROUS LACTATE SALTS OF NHYDROXY-3-[4-[[[2-(2-METHYL-1HINDOL-3-YL)ETHYL]AMINO]METHYL] PHENYL]-2E-2-PROPENAMIDE AND PHARMACEUTICAL COMPOSITIONS COMPRISING THE SAME” was allowed and published on 31 October 2012 for opposition purposes. On 3 January 2013, Unipharm opposed the patent.

After managing to prevent the submission of new evidence, Novartis (represented by Luzzatto et Luzzatto) applied for the opposition to be thrown out claiming that the the opposition had misused the system by submitting new evidence in the guise of responding to applicant’s response to the original opposition.

In his ruling, Commissioner Kling quoting former Deputy Commissioner Axelrod in Oppositions to IL 122118, 122162, 122161 to Warner Lambert Company (also opposed by Unipharm):

If in civil legislation the courts are very reluctant to throw cases out without a proper hearing, how much more so when dealing with a patent opposition [due to the public interest in preventing patents to wrongfully issue]

He went on to quote opposition 121052 Raytheon vs. EL-OP tot he effect that oppositions should only be thrown out if it is clear that they have no chance of succeeding.

 Finally, the Commissioner went on to state that the applicant had not made a strong case that the behavior was inequitable and the additional material was mentioned in the original Statement of Claims.

The attempt to have the case thrown out was thrown out, and costs of 5000 Shekels were awarded against Novartis.

COMMENTS
The decision is correct. In oppositions, both sides typically sail close to the wind with regard to tactics. Unipharm and their representative, Adv. Adi Levit, have a high success rate in opposing pharmaceutical patents that have been subsequently endorsed by the courts.

It will be interesting to see how this case develops.

 


Jerusalem Post Publishes Write-Up on Teva System for Better Prescribing

June 16, 2014

drug variability

Former Employee and patent attorney Dr Moshe Treitel sent me a link to an article in the Jerusalem Post that describes a technology that Teva has developed for better diagnosing. See here for more details.

Quoting Judy Itzkovich’s article:

“As the average Israeli 65 years and older now takes seven different medications for chronic illness, the danger of drug conflicts and complications is high.
In this country, adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are responsible for 4.1 percent of all hospital admissions, while it is 5.7% in Germany, 6.5% in Britain and a whopping 12% in Australia.”

The system, developed by Dr Ronni Shiloh, attempts to minimize adverse drug-drug interactions and to correct doses for specific patients by providing the doctor with a simple graphic interface or GUI on a smartphone or tablet, that summarizes a wealth of medical information in a simple and easy to comprehend graphical interface.

Drug interactions are a major cause of complications, particularly in the elderly. This product may save unneccessary hospitalization and expensive testing, to the benefit of patients, health funds and the Health Ministry alike.

 גילוי נאות – Full Disclosure

I drafted the patent application for Teva and am prosecuting it in various jurisdictions. They out-sourced to me, since despite being Israel’s largest IP firm (that’s Teva, not IP Factor!),  their extensive in-house patent capability is mostly pharmaceutical and molecular biology, whereas this is a computer based system.


BioLineRx Receives Notice of Allowance for US Patent Covering Novel Treatment for Celiac Disease

June 15, 2014

 

celiac

Israeli company BioLineRx has announced their receiving a Notice of Allowance for a US Patent  covering a novel treatment for celiac disease. See http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20140611-903862.html for more details.

 

 


New Uses for Old

June 12, 2014

new lamps for old

The Association for Israel Patent Attorneys is hosting a seminar on patenting new uses for old drugs.

Speakers include:

  • Adv. David Gilat (RCIP – Gilat Bareket – represents Pharma so assumed pro drug patent extensions, new uses, etc)
  • Adv. Yair Ziv (Assumed to be the one from Shin Horowitz – Teva’s lawyers, could be for or against, depending on whether the new use is for Copaxone or Seasonique, or someone else’s patented drug)
  • Dr Yaron Tomer (Unipharm – the Tomer dynasty is generally against what they see as ever-greening).

This is followed by a talk on new uses for existing products by Adv. Ena Pugatch (RCIP again)

The event is for members only, so Israel patent attorneys who are not members are invited to join.

The event is to be held on 26 June at 4 PM. As usual for the TelAvivocentric organization, the event is held in ZOA. Worth trying to arrive at 3:30 for refreshments, but more importantly, to arrive before traffic hits. To register: shiri.shinfouks@s-horowitz.co.il  

The more formal invitation is מכתב מפגש שימושים חדשים יוני 2014[1].

COMMENTS

We applaud the organization for organizing this. We applaud them for organizing educational events, noting that in the past there were periods when they didn’t.

We urge members to attend so that the committee will continue to organize events.

It does seem a shame that trainee patent attorneys who could certainly benefit from this in terms of increasing their knowledge and perhaps gaining an insight into passing the exams, are not invited. In general, I think that the already-licensed professionals are less interested in on-going education than perhaps they should be.

If this is going to be a Gilat vs. Tomer debate or boxing match, with Ziv refereeing, it could be fun. I had an idea for a similar event once. What is almost certain, is that all speakers will be biased by their business interests. Nevertheless, with both commercial interests represented, the event as a whole may be balanced and will probably be very informative. 

Some secondary uses, like sildenafil citrate for treating male erectile dysfunction instead of for treating angina in menopausal women are a little more convincing than others.  Is the use of aspirin for lowering blood pressure instead of as a pain-killer a new use? Was willow bark extract used in conjunction with blood-letting, and was it considered a pain-killer or blood pressure reductant?  Is treating one form of insomnia by melatonin different from treating other forms of sleeplessness? Is getting sheep interested in intimate relations a month earlier different from advocating such relations as a means of tiring oneself out and promoting sleep?

Is having two out four speakers from RCIP fair and balanced? As I suspect that half the paid up membership of the organization are RCIP employees, probably.  Not totally disproportionate to their market share either.  Then again, Gilat Bareket and Reinhold Cohn are arguably not the same company, so Ena and Davidi are merely partners in firms having an intimate relationship (that’s the firms having intimate relationships and sharing same premises, NOT the two speakers… ).

Both David and Ena are competent professionals and good speakers, as is Dr Tomer. (I don’t think I’ve heard Yair Ziv but he may well be as well). This promises to be a good event.

 


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