Patent on cladistic analysis involving unknown species

Nick Goldman n_goldma at nimr.mrc.ac.uk
Tue Aug 8 03:58:12 EST 1995


I have an friend who works in the European Patent Office, Munich.  I just
got off the phone talking to her about this.

Once the patent is granted, there is a 9-month period in which it can be
opposed.  This basically has to be done through a _patent attorney_ -- it
seems it is too difficult for private individuals to manage the bureaucracy
on their own.  The opposition can be filed as one big joint thing (everyone
chips in their own contribution, collated by the attorney), or everyone can
sned in their own bit separately.  The formersounds economically more
attractive, I guess.  

Obviously, opposition on the grounds of 'everyone already knew this' must
make reference to knowledge before the "priority date" (the date the
application was made; September 25, 1991 in this case).  There are numerous
other grounds for opposition (e.g. public morality!) -- the patent attorney
will know what they are.

Does anyone have access to a patent attorney through their organisations?

Regarding early examples of the use of such methods to identify unknown
species -- I recall Gary Olsen (gary at phylo.life.uiuc.edu) giving a talk
where they did this to identify bugs living in high temperature springs.
Anyone want to contact Gary?

Also, it would seem worth contacting Dave Swofford about this.  In
particular, he is now at the Smithsonian and from what I have heard about
PAUP, they are big on lawyers so maybe they could provide a patent
attorney?  As a museum, I guess they would be pretty interested in the use
of these methods for classifying species.

Hope this is of some help.  

  Nick Goldman




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  Nick Goldman                             e-mail:  n_goldma at nimr.mrc.ac.uk
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