Patents, Copyrights & Licence Agreements

Andre Hamel hamel at
Thu Nov 11 18:39:39 EST 1993

MANY (most!?!) folks DO use enzymes OTHER than Taq for MANY applications
... cycle sequencing ... and PCR included! The patent claim is so absurd
as to be a laugh! ... I guess MONEY talks :^) ... not that bribery was/is
involved, but that with LOTS of $$ to blab blab blab in courts, the
process drags on (like this letter of mine :^) ... I can "buy" the cloned
Taq argument but NOT the T.aquaticus source one! ... the PCR process
itself does appear to be on sound ground in favor of PE/Cetus (H.LR).

Vent, DV and Pfu DO appear to be SUPERIOR than Taq for many PCR cloning
and sequencing applications (experience) ... THEN there's cost! Here in
Canada, $ 0.40/U versus $1.00/U ... at least makes a difference to me. ...
imagine heavy duty PCR labs! I prefer to make as best use of my education
and test it by making my own "kits" where/whene ever possible ... now I've
got to dig up earlier (1970's) articles on Taq :^)


In article <1993Nov11.032005.19799 at> finney at Frodo.MGH.Harvard.EDU writes:
>In response to a previous request for the Roche Taq polymerase
>patent, I am posting the claims of the patent.  For those lucky
>people who have never had to deal with patent lawyers, the claims
>are the only important part of the patent, and spell out exactly
>what the patent covers.  The patent in question is number
>Here it is, bad grammar, poor terminology, and all:
>What is claimed is:
>1. Purified thermostable Thermus aquaticus DNA polymerse that 
>migrates on a denaturing polyacrylamide gel faster than 
>phosphorylase B and more slowly than does bovine serum 
>albumin and has an estimated molecular weight of 86,000-
>90,000 daltons when compared with a phosphorylase B standard 
>assigned a molecular weight of 92,500 daltons.
>2. The polymerase of claim 1 that is isolated from Thermus 
>3. The polymerase of claim 1 that is isolated from a 
>recombinant organism transformed with a vector that codes for 
>the expression of Thermus aquaticus DNA polymerse.
>By the way, the old Cetus corporation is famous for submitting
>enormously long and poorly-written patents.  This particular
>patent runs 22 pages.  But it looks like it covers Taq, unless
>it is made by in vitro translation or synthesized on a peptide 
>My question is why more people don't use other enzymes, especially
>for sequencing, where everything is legal and above-board.  Is
>it really possible that no other enzyme is as good as Taq?  Or
>is it just that everyone has optimized protocols for Taq, and
>won't take the trouble to re-optimize?

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