Structural genomics is a fast growing field in which large amounts of money and effort are being invested. Patents are important to ensure continued investment in this field. Accordingly, increasing numbers of structural genomics patent applications are being filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, not that many patents have been issued. An explanation can be found in the published comments of the Trilateral Project WM4. This project was a consolidated effort by the USPTO, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) to try to achieve a mutual understanding of the patentability of these types of inventions. The comments suggest that most claims to these inventions are not patentable. However, these comments actually provide a useful tool for determining how to better obtain patent protection for these inventions. In addition, structural genomics patents that have been issued since the publication of these comments provide insight into the types of claims the USPTO deems patentable in light of the Trilateral Project WM4. This talk will further explore how to obtain patent protection for 3D structural inventions.
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