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SEC Filings

PROTEON THERAPEUTICS INC filed this Form S-1 on 09/16/2014
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Third-party claims of intellectual property infringement or misappropriation may prevent or delay our development and commercialization efforts.

        Our commercial success depends in part on our ability to develop, manufacture, market and sell PRT-201 or any additional product candidates, and to use proprietary technologies without infringing the patents and proprietary rights of third parties. There is a substantial amount of litigation and adversarial proceedings, both within and outside the United States, involving patent and other intellectual property rights in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, including patent infringement lawsuits, interferences, oppositions, reexamination, and inter partes review proceedings before the USPTO and corresponding foreign patent offices. Third parties own patent rights both within and outside the U.S. in the fields in which we are developing and may develop PRT-201 or any additional product candidates. As the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries expand and more patents are issued, the risk increases that PRT-201 or any additional product candidates may be subject to claims of infringement of the patent rights of third parties.

        Third parties may assert that we are employing their proprietary technology without authorization. There may be third-party patents or patent applications with claims that may cover PRT-201 or any additional product candidates and/or the use, manufacture, sale and/or offer for sale of PRT-201 or any additional product candidates. We are aware of European Patent No. EP 1 012 307 B1, or the '307 patent, which claims, among other things, autocatalytically cleavable zymogenic precursor of a serine protease wherein a naturally occurring non-autocatalytic cleavage site is replaced in the zymogenic precursor by an autocatalytic cleavage site. The '307 patent expires on August 12, 2018. We currently estimate that the soonest that we will market PRT-201 is after this date.

        In some cases, we may have failed to identify relevant third-party patents or patent applications. For example, applications filed before November 29, 2000, and certain applications filed after that date that will not be filed outside the United States remain confidential until patents issue. Except for the preceding exceptions, patent applications in the United States and elsewhere are generally published but, only after a waiting period of approximately 18 months after the earliest filing. Therefore, patent applications covering PRT-201 or future product candidates could have been filed by others without our knowledge. Additionally, pending patent applications which have been published can, subject to certain limitations, be later amended in a manner that could cover PRT-201 or any additional product candidates and/or the use, manufacture, sale and/or offer for sale of PRT-201 or any additional product candidates.

        If any valid and enforceable third-party patents were held by a court of competent jurisdiction to cover PRT-201 or any additional product candidates and/or their use, manufacture, sale, and/or offer for sale, the holders of any of these patents may be able to block our ability to develop and commercialize the applicable product candidate until the patent expired or unless we obtain a license. Licenses may not be available on acceptable terms, if at all. Even if we were able to obtain a license, the rights may be nonexclusive, which could result in our competitors gaining access to the same intellectual property. Ultimately, we could be prevented from commercializing a product, or be forced to cease some aspect of our business operations, if, as a result of actual or threatened patent infringement claims, we are unable to enter into licenses on acceptable terms.

        Some of our early research of recombinant expression of PRT-201, but not the corresponding development work, utilized some technology under license from a third party. The third party may contend that we use the licensed technology for our commercial recombinant expression of PRT-201. Litigation may be necessary to defend against such a claim. Even if we are successful in defending against such a claim, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management. If we are not successful in defending against such a claim, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may have to reconfigure the PRT-201 expression system, which would materially adversely affect our commercial development efforts.