In 2001 an experimental alternative to the NFL was launched by Vince McMahon: the XFL. The XFL hosted fewer teams, promising quicker games and greater entertainment. The XFL lasted just one season before collapsing due to significant financial losses. In 2018, McMahon revived the league with a planned restart date in 2020. Fast forward to January 2021 and the picture for the XFL remains bleak, it having lasted only 5 weeks before collapsing due to financial pressures linked to COVID 19. Dwayne Johnson and his associates now own the league and another restart is scheduled for the 2022 season.
Truly global patent specifications are the holy grail for applicants that file around the world. It’s easy to see why. If a specification meets the requirements of all the national patent offices in which protection is going to be sought the application will easier to prosecute and litigate locally and therefore cheaper overall.
At 1522 EDT on 30 May 2020, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in their Dragon capsule blasted off from Cape Canaveral and into low Earth orbit, propelled by the mighty Falcon-9 rocket. This was the first time a private company had sent astronauts to the International Space Station, and the first time since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011 that anyone had travelled into space from US soil.
On Wednesday 15th January 2020, US president Donald Trump and Chinese vice-premier Liu He signed an economic and trade agreement which Mr Trump described as “the biggest deal anybody has even seen”. The deal promises to be the first phase of a larger new trade agreement between the US and China, signifying a de-escalation in their trade war – at least for now. Intellectual property (IP) was one of the main points of contention during the trade talks and thus it is perhaps unsurprising that IP matters are addressed in the first chapter. Of particular interest to those in the pharmaceutical sector will be Sections C and D of Chapter 1, which outline China’s commitment to improving protection and enforcement of pharmaceutical related patent rights. Sceptics will argue that these provisions simply represent a long overdue pledge by China to align its patent system with the US and other Western states, with no guarantee that they will actually implement or enforce the provisions of the agreement. However, in my view the deal appears to represent China’s willingness to do more to protect pharmaceutical patent rights and contains provisions that (if properly implemented and enforced) could significantly increase the value of drug related patents in China.