Concluding remarks

One of the purposes of granting patents is to stimulate innovation. Suppose that obtaining a license for one of the claimed assays is too costly. The alternatives include moving operations to a country without the patent, ignoring the patent and hope to not be sued for infringement, use a method or composition that is in the public domain, and design around the patent. Designing around a patent is innovating. Some of the organizations above no doubt invented new assays to circumvent patented assays. Total freedom to operate in this area will be difficult to obtain however if an assay depends upon using nucleic acids encoding telomerase. In such case, the precise nucleic acids used in the assay should be evaluated vis a vis the patents to wild-type telomerase, related variants, and RNA splice variants. Unfortunately, a general conclusion cannot be stated as each specific candidate sequence needs to be evaluated.