“Innovation and the Human Microbiome: Patent Eligibility and IP Protection”

June 20, 2017Presentation
2017 BIO International Convention

Partner David Gass led a panel addressing IP rights and the human microbiome at the 2017 Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) International Convention on Tuesday, June 20, 2017.

Amanda Barry, Associate General Counsel, Global Home Care & NA Fabric Care, The Proctor & Gamble Company
Michelle Booden, Senior Director, Technology Development; Director of Licensing and Intellectual Property, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Simon O’Brien, Partner, Patent Attorney, D Young & Co

The panel discussed the intellectual property challenges that exist with microbiome research, diagnosis, therapy, and product development as well as how to protect intellectual property rights. Scientists estimate that 50–90% of the cells in a human body are not human at all, but microbial, yet the study of the human microbiome is still in its infancy. Research is uncovering roles for microbes from prenatal and perinatal health through neurodegenerative diseases that plague us in old age; and in numerous systems of the human body unrelated to digestion and nutrition. While new directions of research are continually uncovered, traditional areas, such as antibiotic research, still pose new challenges. Attendees will hear how careful, thoughtful and creative patent drafting, trademark rights and contractual provisions can be used to protect innovations in this area.

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