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John L. White Dies - Authored Chemical Patent Practice

I was saddened to hear of the recent passing of John L. White, a founder of the Arlington firm of Millen, White, Zelano & Branigan. Although I did not know him well, he will be remembered for a long, long time as the editor of “Chemical Patent Practice,” a very practical guide that helped me (and countless other practitioners) learn to cite case law effectively to the PTO as we learned patent prosecution. “My associates” soon learned that I referred to this spiral bound volume as “The Bible.” All the answers we needed were in there somewhere. I am not sure when it was first published, though Amazon references as 1972 edition. I still use my heavily annotated 1993 edition (published by the Patent Resources Group) and I have a 1996 edition that was updated and published by his firm. Paragraphs from the 1993 edition recall sections of the Myriad debate, almost verbatim:

“The extracted product adrenalin was held patentable notwithstanding the fact it existed in the tissue gland from which it was extracted because in extracted form it became, for all practical purposes, a new thing commercially and therapeutically. Parke-Davis v. Mulford (2d Cir. 1912) 196 F. 496. Same, the substantially pure compound primarily responsible for the flavor of strawberries one of the 33 volatile acids thereof not  identified in the prior art. In re Kratz (CCPA 1979) 592 F2d 1169, 201 USPQ 71.”


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