Taq Patent Latest

Kevin O'Donnell odonnell at sasa.gov.uk
Mon Jul 15 07:50:05 EST 1996

As the Roche vs Promega battle rumbles on, here is the latest from 
Europe (From New Scientist 6 July 1996):


A company (Hoffmann la Roche) hoping to cash in on an enzyme vital for most forms of DNA 
analysis, including DNA fingerprinting, was last week dealt a blow by 
the European Patent Office in Munich.  The EPO ruled that the enzyme 
(taq polymerase)cannot be patented because it was first described by
 scientists in 1976.
The patent office has given the company until 24 october to present 
further evidence supporting its application."

Now can anyone tell me if this means that anyone can sell taq in 
Europe? Does it mean that scientists are free to produce their own 
stocks of taq in their own laboratories?

Dr Kevin O'Donnell                          "I'm happy, I'm happy
Diagnostics and Molecular Biology    and I'll punch the man that says I'm not"
SASA                                                   - Ivor Cutler

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