taq isolation

Tom Chappell dmcbtch at ucl.ac.uk
Thu May 11 06:59:31 EST 1995


In article <3orb56$kgd at saba.info.ucla.edu>
Ron Kagan <rkagan at ewald.mbi.ucla.edu> writes:

> Well, I downloaded the test of Hoffman-LaRoche's patent (Patent Number:
> 05352600) for Taq from the U.S. patent database at 
> http://town.hall.org/patent/patent.html  ,  and this is what they claim
> the rights to:
> 
> CLMS  Claims
> STM     Claim Statement:                        What is claimed is:
> NUM     Claim Number:                           1.
>         1. A purified thermostable template-dependent DNA polymerase from the
> species Thermus aquaticus, wherein said polymerase is substantially free
> of contaminating deoxyribonucleases and retains activity at 60.degree. C.
> to 80.degree. C. for after exposure to a temperature of 90.degree. C. for
> up to four minutes and has a specific activity of about 200,000 units/mg,
> wherein one unit corresponds to 10 nmoles of product synthesized on
> activated salmon sperm DNA in 30 minutes.
> 
> NUM             Claim Number:  2.
>         2. The polymerase of claim 1 that is produced in a recombinant host cell.
> NUM             Claim Number:  3.
>         3. A purified thermostable template-dependent DNA polymerase from the
> species Thermus aquaticus, wherein said polymerase is substantially free
> of contaminating deoxyribonucleases and retains activity at 60.degree. C.
> to 80.degree. C. after exposure to a temperature of 90.degree. C. for up
> to four minutes and has a specific activity of about 20 units/pmole
> enzyme, wherein one unit corresponds to 10 nmoles of product synthesized
> on activated salmon sperm DNA in 30 minutes.
> 
> NUM             Claim Number:  4.
>         4. The polymerase of claim 3 that is produced in a recombinant host cell.
> 
> 
> >       What next? May be we should not be preparing hamburgers, 
> >batter-fried chicken etc in our kitchens or grow oranges in our backyard 
> >lest McDonalds, KFC or the Florida Citrus Growers might be upset and sue
> us!?
> 
> No, patents are valid for 17 years from date of issue (or 20 years from
> date of application, under the new GAAT treaty), so they obviously
> wouldn't apply here.  
> 
> Patents recognize the intellectual property rights of inventors, thus
> allowing them to profit from their investments and should be respected. 
> Certain aspects of the Taq patent may still be under legal dispute (I
> think that Hoffman-LaRoche and Promega are involved in such a dispute)
> but the above patent is currently the law of the land.  Personally, I
> wouldn't set out to produce my own Taq without first getting permission
> or consulting with a good lawyer about whether such action would be legal!
> 
> 
> Ron Kagan

Leaving aside the point as to whether this is a legal patent (I can see
how a technique using Taq polymerase could be patented, but not a
previously described polymerase...), does this patent imply that as
long as I keep the activity to around 100,000 units/mg by the addition
of an appropriate amount of BSA that production of Taq is OK?

Tom Chappell



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