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The Microbiome Times: ELIGO v SNIPR: a reflection on IP strategies in a competitive environment

February 2022

HGF Partner and Patent Attorney Craig Thomson and Patent Director Dr Jennifer Bailey write an article for The Microbiome Times on ELIGO v SNIPR: a reflection on IP strategies in a competitive environment.

Introduction

In November 2021, US “Interference” proceedings resulted in cancellation of five US patents owned by SNIPR TECHNOLOGIES. It was concluded that the technology claimed in those patents was invented earlier by The Rockefeller University. The University have their own earlier patent filing focused on that technology, which is licenced to ELIGO BIOSCIENCE. The decision is under Appeal.

Perhaps the most commercially relevant lessons to be learned from these proceedings relate to IP strategy creation in a developing and competitive market. Both ELIGO and SNIPR are well known developers of microbiome therapeutics that harness the gene editing specificity of CRISPR. They are clearly competitors and have no doubt been building an IP portfolio and strategy with this in mind.

General IP Strategy aims

IP strategies designed to enable an innovator to dominate a developing and competitive field should have the long-term aim of securing IP rights that map onto the commercial product (providing a monopoly of sales for that product). In the short-term, the strategy should provide tools to raise investment (essentially by suggesting achievability of the long-term aim).

But, how can one build the appropriate strategy if one cannot yet know the specifics of the product that will ultimately go to market?

Read the full article here.

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