IP aspects of the hpt gene

Analysis of the protected inventions

The patents on the hpt gene and its applications in prokaryotic and eukaryotic transformation are a very interesting example of a comprehensive patent protection strategy followed by a company to consolidate an exclusive position in an enabling tool around the world.

Eli Lilly & Company has 22 granted patents (as of July 2002) in at least 10 different countries and a couple of patent applications that cover:

  1. the wild-type, isolated hpt gene and vectors containing it for prokaryotic and eukaryotic expression;
  2. a modified hpt gene; and
  3. plasmids containing a modified hpt gene for plant transformation.

The patents granted in the United States, Canada and Germany have been assigned to Novartis (now Syngenta).

The patents are divided into three families according to their common priority applications and are directed to the following aspects: