US Patent Applications on Homo Sapiens

A landmark paper published 14. October 2005 by Jensen and Murray matched DNA sequences in granted US patents to the fully sequenced human genome to show that the use of a large proportion of the sequence, much of which was obtained at public expense, may not be in the public domain.  Why is this a problem?  At the time Jensen and Murray did their paper, only information on sequences in US granted patents was available.

CAMBIA has since scraped the sequences from US published patent applications, and determined which are in the claims.  These data (Bacon N, Ashton D, Jefferson RA, Connett MB 2006 “Biological sequences named and claimed in US patents and patent applications” CAMBIA Patent Lens OS4 Initiative) can be used in future for more analysis of genome patenting trends.  Interested in collaboration?

Coverage

The Y axis shows the percentage of the genome covered by matches to sequences referenced in claims.


Patent Count

The Y axis shows the number of patent applications with a claim that references a sequence which matches a segment at least 150bp long within the 300kbp range. Continuations and divisionals are counted as well as their parent.


Sequence Count

The Y axis shows the number of sequences referenced in claims which match a segment at least 150bp long within the 300kbp range. Continuations and divisionals are counted as well as their parent, so the same sequence is counted multiple times in some cases, although the claims covering these sequences may be different in the different applications (for example, in some applications the sequence and complements may be covered, while in others the claim may be to sequences similar to or hybridising to the sequence, or to RNAi molecules derived from it).


These graphs were generated by Neil Bacon with Dr Marie Connett Porceddu;  we are further grateful for the computer time and the assistance of Gavin Kennedy of CSIRO to run the BLAST comparisons with the full human genome.