This excerpt taken from the TPTX 10-K filed Mar 16, 2006.
Our business could be harmed if we fail to protect our intellectual property.
Our patent position, like that of many pharmaceutical companies, is uncertain and involves complex legal and factual questions for which important legal principles are unresolved. We may not develop or obtain rights to products or processes that are patentable. Even if we do obtain patents, they may not adequately protect the technology we own or have in-licensed. In addition, others may challenge, seek to invalidate, infringe or circumvent any patents we own or in-license, and rights we receive under those patents may not provide competitive advantages to us. Further, the manufacture, use or sale of our products or processes, if any, may infringe the patent rights of others.
We have licensed rights to certain patented and patent pending proprietary technology from NYU and CURE, LLC to which we are obligated to pay royalties if we or our sub-licensees develop products based upon the licensed technology, and we have certain license applications pending with NIH. Because of the substantial length of time, effort and expense associated with bringing new products through development and regulatory approval to the marketplace, the pharmaceutical industry places considerable importance on patent and trade secret protection for new technologies, products and processes. We are obligated to pay the filing, prosecution and maintenance expenses with regard to patents and patent applications we own or have licensed. We and our licensors have filed patent applications in other countries, and we may seek additional patents in the future. We cannot assure you as to the breadth or degree of protection that any such patents, if issued, will afford us or that any patents based on the patent applications will be issued at all or that we will be granted licenses to certain patents under our pending license applications. In addition, we cannot assure you that others will not independently develop substantially equivalent proprietary information or otherwise obtain access to our know-how or that others may not be issued patents that may require licensing and the payment of significant fees or royalties by us for the pursuit of our business.
Several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, universities and research institutions may have filed patent applications or received patents that cover technologies similar to ours. Our ability to make, use or sell any of our drug candidates may be blocked by patents that have been or will be issued to third parties that we may not be aware of. Patent applications are often first published eighteen months or more after filing and the claim scope frequently undergoes substantial change between publication and issuance of a patent. Therefore, until a patent is issued, we may not be able to determine if a third party has a patent that could preclude us from commercializing our drug candidates. Third party patent applications and patents could significantly reduce the coverage of our
patents and limit our ability to obtain meaningful patent protection. If other parties obtain patents with conflicting claims, we may be required to obtain licenses to these patents or to develop or obtain alternative technology. We may not be able to obtain any such license on acceptable terms or at all. Any failure to obtain such licenses could delay or prevent us from pursuing the development or commercialization of our drug candidates, which would adversely affect our business.