Even if we obtain patents to protect our products, those patents may not be sufficiently broad and
others could compete with us.
We have filed various U.S. and foreign patent applications with respect to the products and technologies
under our development, and the USPTO and foreign patent offices have issued patents with respect to our products and technologies. These patent applications include international applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. Our pending
patent applications, those we may file in the future and those we may license from third parties, may not result in the USPTO or any foreign patent office issuing patents. Also, if patent rights covering our products are not sufficiently broad, they
may not provide us with sufficient proprietary protection or competitive advantages against competitors with similar products and technologies. Furthermore, if the USPTO or foreign patent offices issue patents to us or our licensors, others may
challenge the patents or circumvent the patents, or the patent office or the courts may invalidate the patents. Thus, any patents we own or license from or to third parties may not provide any protection against competitors.
Furthermore, the life of our patents is limited. Such patents, which include relevant foreign patents, expire on various dates. We have filed, and when
possible and appropriate, will file, other patent applications with respect to our product candidates and processes in the U.S. and in foreign countries. We may not be able to develop additional products or processes that will be patentable or
additional patents may not be issued to us. See also Risk Factors If We Cannot Meet Requirements Under our License Agreements, We Could Lose the Rights to our Products.
Intellectual property rights of third parties could limit our ability to market our products.
Our commercial success also significantly depends on our ability to operate without infringing the patents or violating the proprietary rights of others. The USPTO keeps U.S. patent applications
confidential while the applications are pending. As a result, we cannot determine which inventions third parties claim in pending patent applications that they have filed. We may need to engage in litigation to defend or enforce our patent and
license rights or to determine the scope and validity of the proprietary rights of others. It will be expensive and time consuming to defend and enforce patent claims. Thus, even in those instances in which the outcome is favorable to us, the
proceedings can result in the diversion of substantial resources from our other activities. An adverse determination may subject us to significant liabilities or require us to seek licenses that third parties may not grant to us or may only grant at
rates that diminish or deplete the profitability of the products to us. An adverse determination could also require us to alter our products or processes or cease altogether any related research and development activities or product sales.
If we cannot meet requirements under our license agreements, we could lose the rights to our products.
We depend, in part, on licensing arrangements with third parties to maintain the intellectual property rights to our products under development. These
agreements may require us to make payments and/or satisfy performance obligations in order to maintain our rights under these licensing arrangements. All of these agreements last either throughout the life of the patents, or with respect to other
licensed technology, for a number of years after the first commercial sale of the relevant product.
In addition, we are responsible for the
cost of filing and prosecuting certain patent applications and maintaining certain issued patents licensed to us. If we do not meet our obligations under our license agreements in a timely manner, we could lose the rights to our proprietary
In addition, we may be required to obtain licenses to patents or other proprietary rights of third parties in connection with the
development and use of our products and technologies. Licenses required under any such patents or proprietary rights might not be made available on terms acceptable to us, if at all.
We rely on confidentiality agreements that could be breached and may be difficult to enforce.
Although we believe that we take reasonable steps to protect our intellectual property, including the use of agreements relating to the non-disclosure of confidential information to third parties, as well
as agreements that purport to require the disclosure and assignment to us of the rights to the ideas, developments, discoveries and inventions of our employees and consultants while we employ them, the agreements can be difficult and costly to
enforce. Although we seek to obtain these types of agreements from our consultants, advisors and research collaborators, to the extent that they apply or independently develop intellectual property in connection with any of our projects, disputes
may arise as to the proprietary rights to this type of information. If a dispute arises, a court may determine that the right belongs to a third party, and enforcement of our rights can be costly and unpredictable.