Patent applications filed and patents owned by Eastman Chemical Company

Technology overview

Eastman Chemical Company (headquarters located in Tennessee, US) was established in 1920 by George Eastman, who started supplying photography chemicals to Kodak.  They have expanded business throughout the years and currently provides chemicals, fibers and plastics for use in consumer products.  The patent documents described in this section filed by Eastman Chemical Co. discloses a reporter bacterium isolated from a biological sludge that is transformed with a reporter gene that is not naturally found in the bacterium.  Presence of toxic conditions in biological sludges are detected with decreasing reporter signal from these transgenic bacterium upon exposure to the toxic condition.  This research was conducted by a PhD candidate (now Dr) Christine J Kelly at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, under support from the Eastman Chemical Company.  Dr Kelly isolated a Pseudomonas sp. strain Shk 1 (16rDNA accession AF042858) that was transformed with pUTK2 (Burlage et al. (1990).  Comparative genetic organization of incompatibility group P degradative plasmids.  J Bacteriol. 172:6818) containing the Tn4431 lux transposon via mating with E. coli harbouring the plasmid.  This research was published in Kelly et al.(1999).  Bioluminescent reporter bacterium for toxicity monitoring in biological wastewater treatment systems.  Water Environ Res. 71:31-35.

Details of patent documents

Patent or Publication no.

Title, Independent Claims and Summary

Assignee and licensing information

CA 2287940

  • Earliest priority – 1 May 1997
  • Filed – 29 Apr 1998
  • Application lapsed – 17 Mar 2004
  • Expected expiry – not applicable
Title – Bioluminescent reporter bacterium and methods for toxicity monitoring in biological wastewater treatment systems

Claim 1
A reporter bacterium, comprising

  • bacterium that occurs naturally in a biological sludge and that contains a nucleic acid that encodes a reporter protein not found in the naturally occurring bacterium.
Claim 8
A bioluminescent reporter bacterium, obtained by the process comprising:

  • contacting a bacteria-containing sample of a biological sludge with a donor bacterium, wherein

the donor bacterium contains a nucleic acid that encodes a bioluminescent reporter protein that does not naturally occur in biological sludge bacteria under conditions whereby mating can occur.

Claim 12
A bioluminescent reporter bacterium, obtained by the process comprising:

  • delivering to an isolated bacterium, that occurs naturally in a biological sludge, a nucleic acid construct which contains a nucleic acid that encodes a bioluminescent reporter protein that does not occur naturally in the bacterium, under conditions whereby the nucleic acid encoding the bioluminescent reporter protein is taken up by a bacterium in the sludge sample.
Claim 15
A method for making a bioluminescent reporter bacterium, comprising:

  • contacting a bacteria-containing sample of a biological sludge with a bacterium that contains a nucleic acid that encodes a bioluminescent reporter protein that does not naturally occur in biological sludge bacteria, under conditions whereby the nucleic acid encoding the reporter protein is taken up by a bacterium in the sludge sample.
Claim 16
A method for making a bioluminescent reporter bacterium, comprising:

  • delivering to an isolated bacterium, that occurs naturally in a biological sludge, a nucleic acid construct which contains a nucleic acid that encodes a bioluminescent reporter protein that does not occur naturally in the bacterium, under conditions whereby the nucleic acid encoding the reporter protein is taken up by the isolated sludge bacterium.

The claims are generally drawn towards:

  • a reporter bacterium that occurs naturally in a biological sludge and contains a nucleic acid that encodes a reporter protein not found in the naturally occurring bacterium (claim 1)
  • a bioluminescent reporter bacterium (claim 8, 12)
  • a method for making a bioluminescent reporter bacterium (claim 15, 16)

Definitions extracted from the claims are:

  • Biological sludge – includes sludges from wastewater treatment facilities (e.g., industrial, municipal, etc.) and is also commonly referred to as biosolids and wastewater solids.
  • Bacterium – can be any bacteria which do not naturally contain a bioluminescent reporter gene, and in a preferred embodiment are those bacteria which occur naturally in a biological sludge.
  • Donor bacterium – can be selected from among the bacteria used as donors in other contexts, for example, Escherichia coliAlcaligenes eutrophus and Pseudomonas putida, although, theoretically, almost all known bacteria could serve as donors.
  • Reporter protein – can describe one protein that is sufficient to produce the signal, or more than one protein, which when expressed sequentially or simultaneously or with some temporal overlap, produces the signal.

Comments:

Since this is a published application and not a granted patent, currently there are no enforceable rights.

Eastman Chemical Co.

P.O. BOX 511
KINGSPORT, TENNESSEE 37662

Licensing information:

Eastman Chemical Company
Technology Licensing and Alliances

P.O. Box 431, Bldg 280
Kingsport, TN 37662

Ph  800-Eastman(800-327-8626), Ext. 6076
Fax +1-423-229-2811
Email licensing@eastman.com

US 6110661

  • Earliest priority – 1 May 1997
  • Filed – 2 Oct 1997
  • Granted – 29 Aug 2000
  • Expected expiry – 2 Oct 2017
Title – Bioluminescent reporter bacterium

Claim 1
A method of making and using bioluminescent reporter bacteria, the method comprising the following steps:

a) obtaining bacteria from biological wastewater sludge of a wastewater treatment facility;
b) introducing into said bacteria a nucleic acid construct that encodes a bioluminescent reporter protein under conditions whereby the nucleic acid encoding the bioluminescent reporter protein is taken up by, and expressed in, said bacteria, and wherein the bioluminescent reporter protein does not naturally occur in said bacteria;
c) contacting the influent from the wastewater treatment facility with the bioluminescent reporter bacteria obtained by steps a) and b);
d) detecting the bioluminescent reporter protein expressed by the bioluminescent reporter bacteria; and
e) correlating the presence of toxicity with the reduction in expression of the bioluminescent reporter protein;

wherein the bioluminescent reporter bacteria are made from bacteria obtained from the same wastewater treatment facility at which the bioluminescent reporter bacteria are to be used for detecting toxicity, and are therefore specifically adapted to the conditions of said wastewater treatment facility.

The claims are generally drawn towards:

  • a method of making and using bioluminescent reporter bacteria (claim 1)

Definitions extracted from the specification are provided in CA 2287940.

Comments:

Independent claim 1 (which is the only independent claim in granted US 6110661) is a method claim using the bioluminescent reporter bacterium, as opposed to the PCT application and the subsequent national phase entries that contain claims that are generally directed towards the bioluminescent reporter bacterium (see below for PCT application WO 1998/49337, note that applications do not have enforceable rights until they are granted). Therefore the scope of granted US 6110661 is relatively narrow in comparison to the other patent applications described in this section.

WO 1998/49337

  • Earliest priority – 1 May 1997
  • Filed – 29 Apr 1998
  • Published – 5 Nov 1998
  • Expected expiry – not applicable
Title – Bioluminescent reporter bacterium and methods for toxicity monitoring in biological wastewater treatment systems

Claim 1
A reporter bacterium, comprising

  • a bacterium that occurs naturally in a biological sludge and that contains a nucleic acid that encodes a reporter protein not found in the naturally occurring bacterium.
Claim 8
A bioluminescent reporter bacterium, obtained by the process comprising:

  • contacting a bacteria-containing sample of a biological sludge with a donor bacterium, wherein

the donor bacterium contains a nucleic acid that encodes a bioluminescent reporter protein that does not naturally occur in biological sludge bacteria under conditions whereby mating can occur.

Claim 12
A bioluminescent reporter bacterium, obtained by the process comprising:

  • delivering to an isolated bacterium, that occurs naturally in a biological sludge, a nucleic acid construct which contains a nucleic acid that encodes a bioluminescent reporter protein that does not occur naturally in the bacterium, under conditions whereby the nucleic acid encoding the bioluminescent reporter protein is taken up by a bacterium in the sludge sample.
Claim 15
A method for making a bioluminescent reporter bacterium, comprising:

  • contacting a bacteria-containing sample of a biological sludge with a bacterium that contains a nucleic acid that encodes a bioluminescent reporter protein that does not naturally occur in biological sludge bacteria, under conditions whereby the nucleic acid encoding the reporter protein is taken up by a bacterium in the sludge sample.
Claim 16
A method for making a bioluminescent reporter bacterium, comprising:

  • delivering to an isolated bacterium, that occurs naturally in a biological sludge, a nucleic acid construct which contains a nucleic acid that encodes a bioluminescent reporter protein that does not occur naturally in the bacterium, under conditions whereby the nucleic acid encoding the reporter protein is taken up by the isolated sludge bacterium.

The claims are generally drawn towards:

  • a reporter bacterium that occurs naturally in a biological sludge and contains a nucleic acid that encodes a reporter protein not found in the naturally occurring bacterium (claim 1)
  • a bioluminescent reporter bacterium (claim 8, 12)
  • a method for making a bioluminescent reporter bacterium (claim 15, 16)

Definitions extracted from the claims are provided in CA 2287940.

Comments:

Since this is a published application and not a granted patent, there are no enforceable rights.

Remarks
  1. National phase entry of WO 1998/49337 in Japan (JP 2002500510) is deemed to be withdrawn on 26 Jul 2005.
  2. National phase entryof WO 1998/49337 in Australia (AU 72646/98) has lapsed on 13 Jul 2000.
  3. National phase entry of WO 1998/49937 in Europe (EP 979299) is deemed to be withdrawn on 30 Mar 2005.
  4. Other national phase entries of WO 1998/49337 include Brazil (BR 9809325), China (CN 1254382), Indonesia (ID 22801), South Africa (ZA 9803668).

Search strategy

Search details
Date of search 02/05/2006
Database searched Patent Lens
Type of search Simple, stemming on
Collections searched AU-B, US-A, US-B, EP-B, WO
Search terms bioreporter
Results 68
Comments Of the 68 results identified using these search terms, 6 results were identified as being of particular interest based on their abstracts and a review of their claims.