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MoFo Tech

A blog dedicated to information, trend spotting & analysis for science- & tech-based companies

Good Chemistry

Thanks to a merger, a poultry and produce wash is helping the oil industry extract resources more effectively

In 2008, Vic Keasler was performing molecular biology tests at a pharma, biotech, and academic research company.  Keasler had studied hepatitis B and C’s effect on liver cancer in graduate school; his career had primarily focused on human disease.  However, after a friend in the oil and gas industry mentioned one day that water treatment company Nalco Champion wanted to expand its basic microbial program, Keasler bid illness study adieu.

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A Smart Wallet

The Potential for mobile payments is huge. So are the potential legal and regulatory hurdles.

Banks, retailers, and pundits are paying a lot of attention to mobile payments, which typically involve the use of smartphones and tablets to pay for purchases.  But a lack of mobile infrastructure has kept the use of mobile payments fairly low in the U.S. Continue Reading

No Patent for You

Patent eligibility restrictions hit life sciences and tech

After years of issuing rulings limiting what can be patented, the Supreme Court turned its attention squarely toward patent eligibility in the life sciences and technology fields.

Overturning a 30-year practice by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office of awarding patents on isolated DNA sequences, the court in June declared that Myriad Genetics’ patents on two human genes linked to a higher risk of breast cancer were invalid.  That decision came on the heels of a 2012 ruling that a certain personalized medicine test for determining proper drug dosages was a patent-ineligible “law of nature.”  Just two years earlier, the court affirmed the rejection of a method patent application on a process for hedging losses in the energy industry. Continue Reading

Outward Bound

As Chinese companies have matured, they’re eagerly looking to the U.S. as a source for technology innovation, talent and market penetration, says Jackie Liu, a partner in Morrison & Foerster’s San Francisco office.  Until recently, Chinese companies have had a low success rate in acquiring companies abroad.  But that has started to change as Chinese companies have hired management teams with education from, and work experience in, the U.S. who are effective facilitators in getting these transactions successfully completed, Liu says:  “They have the language skills, they under-stand the business dynamics, and they understand the American way of doing a deal that has its own deal cadence.” Continue Reading

Far Beyond the Valley

Global tech hubs are a source of technology, talent, and funding

While media coverage of the technology industry focuses largely on Silicon Valley, savvy tech and life sciences executives have been looking much farther afield, well beyond American borders.

Americans are engaging with overseas companies in more diverse ways, fueling our thirst for knowledge about overseas markets. What is the climate in these countries for launching, growing, or buying a business? For locating an R&D center or a manufacturing plant? For hiring or acquiring talent? For receiving or making investments? For making business deals of all kinds? Continue Reading