Patent Expirations Behind J&J Cuts, C&T Looks Closer at Patents

Health and personal care maker Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has announced plans to eliminate up to 4,800 jobs. According to a report by the New York Times, this move could save the company US$1.3-1.6 billion a year. J&J cited patent expiration's on key pharmaceutical products for one of the reasons to trim the workforce of 120,000 people, according to reports.

Patents and intellectual property are vital to building and growing businesses--if no other company can make what one company is making, they control that niche in the market. Personal care formulators often design brilliant solutions to challenges they face in the lab only to come full stop against someone else's patent. During the creative formulating process it is nearly impossible to research every patent that is issued; however, Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine has devised a new Web feature to assist in your search.

Beginning next week , Cosmetics & will feature collections of patents issued within recent weeks for your consideration. Chosen for their relevance to personal care, the patents covered will be written up in briefs to include: the application category such as hair, skin, or antiaging; the patent number; the company to which the patent is issued; and any additional description available. These patent briefs will be taken from publicly available sources, collected and presented to you for your convenience.

Following is a sampling of a recent patent issued:

Skin Lightening
June 5, 2007
Hair Systems Inc.
Composition containing leukocyte extract for the whitening or lightening of skin
Cosmetic compositions intended for topical application to the skin for lightening and/or brightening the skin are provided. The subject compositions are characterized by the presence of leukocyte extract in combination with one or more secondary skin whitening or brightening agents. A preferred group of such agents includes bearberry, arbutin, rutin, ascorbyl glucoside, ascorbyl magnesium phosphate, hydroquinone, kojic acid or combinations thereof. Another group of preferred agents includes extracts of mulberry, lemon, orange, licorice, cucumber, cinnamon, cherry (fermentate), rosemary and/or derivatives thereof. It has been found that the combination of leukocyte extract with such agents possesses enhanced efficacy over similar preparations that do not contain leukocyte extract.

Be sure to log on to next week to view our new patent collection! For more information on patents and intellectual property, check out the book Patent Peace of Mind by Louis C. Paul and Anthony J. O’Lenick .

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