World's Major Patent Offices Publish Results of Comparable Study on Patentability Issues of 3D Protein Structures

Press Release

Ruth Nyblod

Washington - The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the publication of a report, published in association with the European Patent Office and Japan Patent Office, that provides clear guidance for filing in each of the three offices patent applications relating to three-dimensional protein structures.

"The guidance provided by this study will help Americans who file for patent protection on their proteomics based inventions both here and abroad comply with the patentability requirements of each office," noted James E. Rogan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Proteins regulate biological function, and are key to developing new drugs and pharmaceuticals to combat illness and disease. A newly-evolving area of science applies computer modeling and screening algorithms to data that define a protein by its three-dimensional structure to design potential pharmaceuticals. The new technology promises to speed the development of new drugs and reduce the cost of the drug discovery process. This is especially important at a time when the number of new drugs in the pipeline is diminishing.

Nearly 90% of the world's patents are issued through the U.S., European and Japan Patent Offices. The offices agreed to the substance of the report during the 20th annual trilateral conference held in Vienna, Austria, November 4-8, 2002.

The report is accessible through the USPTO's Trilateral Web Site at

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