Dr. Duncan Clark Duncan at nospam.demon.co.uk
Wed Jan 19 11:01:55 EST 2000

In article <864h22$q48$1 at clematis.singnet.com.sg>, Chong Wai Yin( Zhang
Weixian) <wychong at singnet.com.sg> writes
>Hi, does anyone know which company or who patented the PCR and the nature of
>the patent (eg does it patent the process or...)? What is amount of
>royalties that I need to pay if I use PCR. Is it that the royalties is
>included when I buy a thermal cycler? Thanks for answering my questions.

The PCR process was patented by Cetus, later bought by F. Hoffmann-La-
Roche. They also patented the Taq DNA polymerase in various countries
(currently under challenge).

In countries where patents exist, you can buy licensed PCR polymerases
from any of 25 plus licensees. When you do this you get a limited
license to practice the PCR process on an authorized PCR machine for the
purpose solely of research and development. For commercial use i.e
diagnostic screening etc. there are umpteen other licenses one can get
from PE direct. An authorised machine is one which has a little green
sticker saying so and with the exception of one or two manufacturers (in
particular MJ Research) all machines are authorised.

A standard license is as follows, as printed on licensee data sheets for
their enzyme.


A license under U.S. Patents 4.683.202, 4.683.195 and 4.965.188 or their
foreign counterparts, owned by Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. and F. Hoffmann-La
Roche Ltd ("Roche"), has an up-front fee component and a running-royalty
component. The purchase price of this product includes limited,
nontransferable rights under the running-royalty component to use only
this amount of the product to practice the Polymerase Chain Reaction
("PCR") and related processes described in said patents solely for the
research and development activities of the purchaser when this product
is used in conjunction with a thermal cycler whose use is covered by the
up-front fee component. Rights to the up-front fee component must be
obtained by the end user in order to have a complete license. These
rights under the up-front fee component may be purchased from Perkin-
Elmer or obtained by purchasing an Authorized Thermal Cycler. No right
to perform or offer commercial services of any kind using PCR, including
without limitation reporting the results of purchaser's activities for a
fee or other commercial consideration, is hereby granted by implication
or estoppel. Further information on purchasing licenses to practice the
PCR Process may be obtained by contacting the Director of Licensing at
The Perkin-Elmer Corporation, 850 Lincoln Center Drive, Foster City,
California 94404 or at Roche Molecular Systems, Inc., 1145 Atlantic
Avenue, Alameda, California 94501. 

If you are unsure check out the PE web site: 

However in countries where patents do not exist, for instance Taiwan,
you should be able to do what you like. You will need to check for your
country i.e. for Singapore I'm not overly sure what the situation is and
do not want to give the wrong advice.


The problem with being on the cutting edge is that you occasionally get 
sliced from time to time....

Duncan Clark
DNAmp Ltd.
Tel: +44(0)1252376288
FAX: +44(0)8701640382

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