US 7135616 and other issued patents claiming “polynucleotides and polypeptides from plants”
The following are US patents that have issued from the above-described Mendel patent applications on “Polynucleotides and Polypeptides from Plants”. Mendel, and probably its research ally Monsanto, has the right to exclude anyone from using technology covered by the claims below in the US or in products to be imported into the US. Note that while the claims are narrower than those in the corresponding patent application, this is no cause for feeling relieved about how many research avenues they leave open for development into deliverable products.
For example, in the patent 6,717,034 shown below, the scope of the claims is towards transgenic plants having increased biomass (compared to a control), and the methods involved in producing them. The scope is further limited with respect to the sequence used to obtain this phenotype. Specifically the DNA sequence in SEQ ID 1 is used, along with the peptide sequence in SEQ ID 2, to define the scope in plants. Claims include DNA sequences (and complementary sequences) that code for SEQ ID NO: 2 (including SEQ ID NO 1), and sequences that “bind under stringent conditions” to SEQ ID 1 (and complementary sequences). Such claim language opens the possibility of using other transcription factors that might result in similar useful phenotypes (e.g. would the equivalent transcription factor from another dicot, that codes for a peptide sequence other than SEQ ID NO 2, and is sufficiently different to SEQ ID NO 1, be a possible work-around for this patent?) However, before making such a conclusion it would be important to examine the prosecution history, i.e. the interactions between the patent office and the applicant, about how the doctrine of equivalents would need to be taken into account).
Also, this patent is one of a large INPADOC family, and broader claims to the same sequences, as well as to all the other sequences in the application, could still be pending. This means that at any time patents with broader claims could still issue from any of the over 100 patent applications that are still pending.
|Patent or Publication No.||Title, Independent Claims and Summary||Applicant|
||Title – Method for modifying plant biomass
Mendel Biotechnology, Inc., Hayward, CA., USA
|Patent or Publication No.||Title, Independent Claims and Summary||Assignee|
||Title – Biochemistry-related polynucleotides and polypeptides in plants
Mendel Biotechnology Inc.