Biotechnology

Biotechnology reflects any of several major industrial applications of life sciences (e.g., biology, genetics) to mathematics-based disciplines (e.g., engineering, information technology).

Generally, biotechnology forms the basis for pharmaceuticals and related health care applications, food-based agriculture applications, and industrial treatment of crops for non-food uses such as fuels, oils, and consumer goods such as plastics, all of which have advanced the standard of living of the average consumer. As a result, there has been an increased effort to gain proprietary rights over biotechnology, most notably in the form of patent protection.

As with any invention for which patent protection is sought, biotechnological inventions must encompass patentable subject matter, have utility, be novel and non-obvious, and be sufficiently enabled via a written description. Although many biotechnology-based patent applications seek protection for DNA, microbes, cell lines, tissue generation, viruses, certain types of microorganisms, and the like.

Because biological mechanisms are by nature unpredictable as compared to traditional technologies that have heretofore formed the basis for most patent applications, a heightened enablement/disclosure requirement has been instituted in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, and new case law has been established.

One underlying policy concern for a heightened enablement/disclosure requirement is the desire to prevent the issuance of overly broad patents that could yield protracted litigation proceedings. Biotechnology patents often involve a level of complexity beyond that directed to more classical technologies.

The lawyers at MKG, LLC (formerly Michaud-Kinney Group, LLP) have represented leading pharmaceutical manufacturers, industrial companies, hospitals, universities and researchers in securing patent protection for biotechnical subject matter.

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