Dr. Peebles’ retirement
Tom Peebles has retired as our chairman, as of yearend 2003. He was the originator of putting fluoride into infant vitamins,
which is the primary reason many people have excellent teeth today. He collected data on a few hundred kids for over 17 years,
and published the very best clinical trials on infant fluoride. We have gone far on his work, his credibility, and his leadership.
(More on the next page.)
Changes to board of directors
Dr. Peebles retired, our VP Dr. Darby Glenn stepped up to be our chairman beginning 2004. His claim to fame is prenatal fluoride,
which is still the most interesting of all the ways to give fluoride. I still want to find something to give us a commercial
angle. But from your families’ point of view, it is the best. If your child has fluoride throughout pregnancy, you can
just skip the much trickier infant phase, and start at about 6 months.
directors are Dr. Sylvia Pager (our pediatrician in Honolulu) and my nephew Ben Owen.
is a freshly minted MBA, with 2 young fluoride kids. He’s busy with a jillion other things, but I forecast he will be
a big help soon. If I was to croak or wander off, Ben is the most likely to carry on in some way.
We won our appeal, and got two minor claims allowed
it is in full legalese from the patent office (have mercy on yourself and skip this):
view of the Appeal Brief filed on 11 August 2003, PROSECUTION IS HEREBY REOPENED. The new grounds of rejections are set forth
1-21-04 Office Action was mailed to me in HI just as I was packing to go there. The roommates there faxed (and read) the key
parts to me. I finished and mailed my response in about 2 days, on 1-29-04, before leaving 2 days later.)
“Claims 1-5 are pending in the application. Claims 3-4 are allowed. Claims
1, 2, and 5 are rejected.”
If you want to see the complete application, it is online at the PTO website.
(Our application is titled Dose by weight medicine dropper. It can be found
on the PTO search site (link below) by putting a few key words like dose and dropper into the boxes and selecting the title
field. You’ll get 2 applications – choose the older one – 2002. The new one is still in the hopper, with
BSA claims added.)
(The application has been amended slightly from the online version. Like the
claims have been re-numbered. Amendments start 10-02, all are minor, and none change the claims: J (renumber claims) , K (added
to spec on pg 6, my infant F web site, and eyeball method), K(2) (same thing, just bracket and underline format), K (3) (ditto).)
(Now claim 1 – this is the main one we would like, and it is rejected.
Ditto claim 5 way below.)
13. A dose by weight medicine dropper for dispensing a medicine, comprising:
a tube; a flexible bulb attached to one end of said tube; an opening at the other end of said tube, and a body weight scale
marked on said tube, said body weight scale comprising at least 2 discrete numerical points in a series, such that a change
in volume corresponds to a change in body weight.
(Claim 2, also rejected.)
14. A combined medicine dropper--dose calculator, for dispensing a medicine
to a patient of a known body weight, comprising: a tube; a flexible bulb attached to one end of said tube; an opening at the
other end of said tube, and a body weight scale marked on said tube, said body weight scale comprising at least 2 discrete
numerical points in a series, such that a change in volume corresponds to a change in body weight, and such that said scale
calculates the dose of medicine when said tube is filled to the body weight of the patient.
(Claim 3, allowed, but relatively minor version)
15. A dose by length medicine dropper for dispensing a medicine, comprising:
a tube; a flexible bulb attached to one end of said tube; an opening at the other end of said tube, and a body length scale
marked on said tube, said body length scale comprising at least 2 discrete numerical points in a series, such that a change
in volume corresponds to a change in body length.
(Claim 4, allowed, also minor)
16. A dose by weight or age medicine cup, comprising: a cylinder-like
reservoir with a closed bottom and an open top, and a body weight scale and an age scale marked on said cylinder-like reservoir.
(Claim 5, rejected. This is the version that is most popular overseas.)
17. A dose by weight oral syringe, comprising: a tube-like reservoir;
a plunger that slides within said tube-like reservoir at one end of said tube-like reservoir; an opening at the other end
of said tube-like reservoir, and a body weight scale marked on said oral syringe, said body weight scale comprising at least
2 discrete numerical points in a series, the position of said series such that as the plunger is pulled away from said opening
on said tube-like reservoir, value indicated on said body weight scale increases.
arguments about the claims we are still denied (obviousness)
Our response was 2 quick arguments against obviousness:
It was not obvious to me. (This is not a “standard” argument, but I handily had a copy of “Fluoride
for your family”, which I wrote before the invention. In it I did everything I could think of to get the doses right
– fancy graphs, etc. – but still using standard “step” doses.)
It was not obvious to others in my field. (This is the gold standard for obviousness arguments. I used a time line
showing the last 50 years of prominent experts saying we should dose by body weight, but that it is impractical. We could
not be luckier – there are excellent quotes from the top authorities published, and not a word to the contrary.)
(I did not get into lots of other fine arguments – especially success by others in Europe. I probably could have
nailed the examiner more specifically - that the specific combinations the examiner used all require a MPEP no-no, changing
the principle of operating the prior art. Darbon’s diluting scale and Zimecterin emptying scale were the source of the
body weight scale.)
Oxo cup with patented scale
This is another lucky find, of a patent on adding a scale to a measuring cup. The design has won awards and has
been featured in quite a few stories. For us it is just cool that the patent (Hoeting et al 6,263,732) is so close. You can
click to a picture of the cup (link below).
6-9-04 the patent office said “Nah” to granting more claims. The examiner offered to give us our main claims IF
we would limit them to just fluoride, not other medications. Sheesh, why stop there? If they want to limit it to just what
I was working on at the moment of invention, why not limit it all the way down to just fluoride for David and Sherry Berett’s
the good news is I can now quit writing about licensing options and just finish this stupid report. As far as our future –
we still have the next re-write (CIP 7) in the hopper, and will have plenty of time to deal with these things next round.
(Actually, the rejections next time will probably be completely different, even though the application is almost exactly the
same. Sometimes it seems random.)
Swiss give away licenses
went ahead and gave freebee licenses to the 3 other Swiss companies on 6-16-04.