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SEC Filings

10-Q
PROTEON THERAPEUTICS INC filed this Form 10-Q on 11/07/2017
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Moreover, other parties have developed technologies that may be related or competitive to our approach, and may have filed or may file patent applications and may have received or may receive patents that may overlap or conflict with our patent applications, either by claiming the same methods or formulations or by claiming subject matter that could dominate our patent position. These third party patent positions may limit or even eliminate our ability to obtain patent protection for certain inventions.

 

The patent positions of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including our patent position, involve complex legal and factual questions, and, therefore, the issuance, scope, validity and enforceability of any patent claims that we may obtain cannot be predicted with certainty. Patents, if issued, may be challenged, deemed unenforceable, invalidated, or circumvented. United States patents and patent applications may also be subject to interference proceedings, ex parte reexamination, or inter partes review proceedings, and challenges in district court. Patents may be subjected to opposition, revocation proceedings, or comparable proceedings lodged in various foreign, both national and regional, patent offices. These proceedings could result in either loss of the patent or denial of the patent application or loss or reduction in the scope of one or more of the claims of the patent or patent application. In addition, such proceedings may be costly. Thus, any patents that we may own or exclusively license may not provide any protection against competitors. Furthermore, an adverse decision in an interference proceeding can result in a third party receiving the patent right sought by us, which in turn could affect our ability to develop, market or otherwise commercialize vonapanitase or any additional product candidates.

 

Furthermore, though a patent is presumed valid and enforceable, its issuance is not conclusive as to its validity or its enforceability and it may not provide us with adequate proprietary protection or competitive advantages against competitors with similar products. Even if a patent issues and is held to be valid and enforceable, competitors may be able to design around our patents, such as using pre-existing or newly developed technology. Other parties may develop and obtain patent protection for more effective technologies, designs or methods. We may not be able to prevent the unauthorized disclosure or use of our technical knowledge or know-how by consultants, vendors, former employees and current employees. The laws of some foreign countries do not protect our proprietary rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States, and we may encounter significant problems in protecting our proprietary rights in these countries. If these developments were to occur, they could have a material adverse effect on our sales.

 

In addition, proceedings to enforce or defend our patents, if and when issued, could put our patents at risk of being invalidated, held unenforceable, or interpreted narrowly. These proceedings could also provoke third parties to assert claims against us, including that some or all of the claims in one or more of our patents are invalid or otherwise unenforceable. If any of our patents, if and when issued, covering vonapanitase or any additional product candidates, are invalidated or found unenforceable, our financial position and results of operations would be materially and adversely impacted. In addition, if a court found that valid, enforceable patents held by third parties covered vonapanitase, or any additional product candidates, our financial position and results of operations would also be materially and adversely impacted.

 

The degree of future protection for our proprietary rights is uncertain, and we cannot ensure that:

 

  · any of our patents or pending patent applications, if issued, will include claims having a scope sufficient to protect vonapanitase or any additional product candidates;
  · any of our pending patent applications will issue as patents at all;
  · we will be able to successfully commercialize product candidates, if approved, before our relevant patents expire;
  · we were the first to make the inventions covered by each of our patents and pending patent applications;
  · we were the first to file patent applications for these inventions;
  · others will not develop similar or alternative technologies that do not infringe our patents;
  · others will not use pre-existing technology to effectively compete against us;
  · any of our patents will be found ultimately to be valid and enforceable;
  · any patents issued to us will provide a basis for an exclusive market for our commercially viable products, will provide us with any competitive advantages or will not be challenged by third parties;
  · we will develop additional proprietary technologies or product candidates that are separately patentable; or
  · that our commercial activities or products will not infringe the patents or proprietary rights of others.

 

We rely upon unpatented know-how to maintain our competitive position, which we seek to protect, in part, by confidentiality agreements with our employees and our collaborators and consultants. It is possible that technology relevant to our business will be independently developed by a person that is not a party to such an agreement. Furthermore, if the employees and consultants who are parties to these agreements breach or violate the terms of these agreements, we may not have adequate remedies for any such breach or violation, and our confidential know-how could become known to others through such breaches or violations. Further, our know-how could otherwise become known or be independently discovered by our competitors. Further, the term of confidentiality requirements for current and terminated agreements with some of our consultants, contract manufacturing or research organizations and other third parties is finite.

 

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