James Cullem Discusses the Role of Patent Attorneys in Biotech Companies

James Cullem A life science entrepreneur, executive, and registered patent attorney, James Cullem often fields questions about patent attorneys and the implementation of their services in today’s biotech companies.

ZRYLW: Good morning and welcome – how are you?

James Cullem: Doing great. I’m happy to be here!

ZRYLW: Jumping right in, and to simplify matters for

our readers, what exactly do patent attorneys general focus on and accomplish?

James Cullem: Patents are a fundamental, competitive building block for most technology-focused companies, as they provide commercial exclusivity on claimed inventions for a substantial period of time. They are a legal right and document, and as such, patent attorneys (who are specialists) are focused on preparing and filing patent applications, arguing for their issuance/grant, and maintaining and leveraging them post-issuance/grant.

ZRYLW: What are the requirements for being credentialed as a patent attorney?

James Cullem: Like all attorneys here in the U.S., patent attorneys must first hold a Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from an accredited law school, and then sit for and pass the Bar exam in at least one state in ordered to be licensed to practice law.  On top of that, in order to be credentialed as a Registered Patent Attorney who is recognized before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, the attorney must have technical training, education, and expertise in their desired area of technology focus (e.g. biochemistry, chemistry, mechanical engineering, etc.) in order to sit for and pass the difficult and specialized Patent Bar Exam.

ZRYLW: How does the Patent Bar compare to other tests?

James Cullem: It is widely regarded in the legal community as one of the most difficult examinations. As a result, the number of U.S. patent attorneys is quite miniscule when judged against other disciplines of law.

ZRYLW: When a company begins to seek the services of a patent attorney, how does management take that first step?

James Cullem: It’s increasingly important for businesses and corporations to be aware of the different characteristics that make a great patent attorney. In the early stages, it’s advisable to check with the U.S. Patent Office to confirm an attorney’s Registration and qualifications.  Management must consider the patent attorney’s area of technical focus and expertise to ensure it matches the company’s product development and R&D focuses.  If the attorney’s background is a suitable fit, he or she could prove to be a valuable resource, provided they have the requisite years of experience. It is always a good idea to ask other patent attorneys in the local community about their experience with the attorney the company is considering hiring. A patent attorney that is not only sharp and well qualified, but is recognized as providing great client service and communication, is the one management should seek.

ZRYLW: What’s a prime example of matching a patent attorney to the company?

James Cullem: A biotechnology company that creates and maintains novel diagnostic tests is best served by a patent attorney that understands biochemistry or molecular biology, as opposed to one that is focused on medical devices or therapeutics.

ZRYLW: Tell us about some of the red flags that might indicate trouble ahead…

James Cullem: A patent attorney who claims to be competent across divergent technology areas may not be the right choice, as it is difficult to stay competent and up-to-speed in more than one or two areas.  For example, be wary of a practitioner that claims to be skilled in medical devices, therapeutics, biologics, research reagents, diagnostic, and more.  Instead, look for a patent attorney that focuses in one specific area, such as genomic and proteomic diagnostic tests.

ZRYLW: How would you summarize the most valuable assets of a patent attorney?

James Cullem: Obtaining and managing patents is complicated work and requires the deft touch of an expert professional who knows the field inside and out.  Still, most Registered Patent Attorneys are highly qualified professionals and the standard of work in this specialist community is high.  It is easy to lose sight of the forest-through-the-trees in diving into this complicated legal work, day in and day out.  The most valuable asset a patent attorney can bring to a company/client is, therefore, the additional ability to see the company’s big picture and work collaboratively with its senior management team, in order to ensure that patent activities are aligning with and serving the overarching corporate vision, mission and objectives.

ZRYLW: In closing, where can company management learn further details about the patent process?

James Cullem: By visiting the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office online at uspto.gov, where it is also possible to search for patents and obtain a full listing of certified attorneys. There are other inventor resources on the Web that explain the patenting process.  And of course, a short conversation with a local Registered Patent Attorney is also helpful.

James Cullem has founded three biotechnology companies, including Paradigm Oncology, is a two-time former Chief Counsel at leading biotechnology companies, and has served as Of Counsel to a number of top patent law firms.

BentleyForbes Shares Virtues of the Boy Scouts of America

BentleyForbes The founder of BentleyForbes has been a champion of the Boy Scouts of America since the company began in 1993. In this interview, he explains why BentleyForbes is heavily involved in the organization’s wealth of opportunities for today’s young men.

Zrylw: Welcome, and thank you for your time this morning.

BentleyForbes: It’s an absolute pleasure to be with you!

Zrylw: Tell us about your involvement with the Boy Scouts of America…

BentleyForbes: The Boy Scouts of America is truly one of the finest youth organizations in the U.S. The Boy Scouts put an emphasis on physical and mental fitness for young men from the ages of 11 to 17.

Zrylw: Why is this mission so critical in today’s society?

BentleyForbes: The American value system remains in a state of flux. With so many social options available to kids today, making the right choice can be incredibly difficult.

Zrylw: How so?

BentleyForbes: The youth of America are subjected to countless unethical corporate and individual acts in the media, not to mention their schools and communities.

Zrylw: Where do the Scouts come into play?

BentleyForbes: According to various studies, Scouts are generally more satisfied with their professional and personal lives. The value of these relationships cannot be underestimated.

Zrylw: What specific traits do you find are most notable among Scouts?

BentleyForbes: Scouts have excelled in leadership roles as a result of the self-confidence and strength that they have drawn from their experiences.

Zrylw: What experiences, for example?

BentleyForbes: Being of service to others is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. By learning how to respect other people and their property, Scouts gain invaluable life skills.

Zrylw: Such as…?

BentleyForbes: Especially in today’s society, it’s important to feel pride about America and all of its abundant opportunities. Taking care of the environment is one of the chief lessons learned by Scouts.

Zrylw: That’s a noble goal!

BentleyForbes: Indeed. These ethical standards establish a strong and unyielding foundation that serves young men for the rest of their lives.

Zrylw: What is the long-term impact of their involvement?

BentleyForbes: The opportunities granted by the Boy Scouts of America carry forth into the rest of their lives. Because of their association with the Scouts, young men improve their interpersonal relationships.

Zrylw: How can adults help out the cause?

BentleyForbes: As part of volunteering, adults can work directly with youth to develop and sustain a brighter future for the United States.

Zrylw: Is a certain level of experience necessary to volunteer?

BentleyForbes: Scouting volunteers come from a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. People and businesses from nearly every industry are involved in helping youth become competent, caring and responsible citizens.

Zrylw: What can adults learn from these endeavors?

BentleyForbes: Scout volunteering allows people to learn a variety of new skills and create lasting friendships within the community.

Zrylw: Where can adults find out more information about volunteering?

BentleyForbes: On the Scouts website, simply type in a zip code to find the nearest council.

Zrylw: Tremendous! Thanks for sharing!

BentleyForbes: You’re quite welcome.

Commercial real estate company BentleyForbes is one of the leaders in its industry, with current holdings in Dallas, Houston, Chicago and a number of major markets throughout the U.S.

Notre Dame, University of Virginia Among Winners in Business School Rankings

notredame Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame University has scored the number-one position in Bloomberg Businessweek’s rankings of the top undergraduate business schools in the United States.

McIntire School of Commerce (University of Virginia), Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management (Cornell University), Carroll School of Management (Boston College) and Olin School (Washington University – St. Louis).

The Mendoza College of Business features more than 2400 students in graduate, undergraduate and executive studies.

A total of 132 programs were ranked in five different categories. Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) is the lone entry on both the undergraduate list and the recent MBA rankings. Notre Dame appeared in the top five for employer sentiment and academic quality, and placed first in student assessment. Kelley School of Business (Indiana University) moved into the top ten for the first time at No. 8.

The School of Business at Wake Forest University secured first-place honors in the category of Academic Quality for the second year in a row. This category takes into account such components as student-faculty ratio and average SAT score. Olin School at Washington University – St. Louis kept the top ranking for best percentage of placing undergrads in leading MBA programs.

Tepper School of Business (Carnegie Mellon University) tied with Wharton and McIntire as the educational institutions with the highest starting pay at $70,000 annually. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), undergraduate business owners can expect an average starting salary of $55,144.

A major reason for the between MBA and undergraduate top tens is that many institutions such as Harvard University and University of Chicago do not provide undergraduate business programs. With the increased demand for undergraduate business education, Stanford University and other schools are creating certificate programs. In order to attract students from across the country, many private colleges with leading MBA programs have begun to offer courses for younger students.