Intellectual Property Law · Licensing · Technology Innovation

What are the challenges of biotechnology patent prosecution?

On Behalf of | May 12, 2022 | Licensing |

The use of biotechnology is growing in many U.S. regions, including Texas and Alabama. Entrepreneurs and those with a scientific background have an opportunity to change the world through biotechnology while earning a lucrative income.

According to the U.S. Chamber (of Commerce) Foundation, those interested in prosecuting biotechnology patents will face many challenges on the road to success. You can expect to receive great rewards if you plan for, and overcome, these challenges.

Legal challenges

All business endeavors come with legal uncertainties, and those in the biotechnology field are not immune from them. Some of the legal challenges associated with biotech patent prosecution include:

  • Defining (for patenting purposes) the elements of biotechnology (gene sequencing, etc.)
  • Protecting biotechnology-related intellectual property rights, especially on the international level
  • Determining the type of patent classification for altered proteomic and genomic material

It may also be challenging to define what will constitute the infringement of your rights when working in the biotechnology arena. 

Administrative challenges

Once you decide it is time to protect your work with a patent, you can also expect several administrative challenges. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is busier than ever and hindered by a backlog of patent applications. Therefore, it can take longer than you expected to acquire your biotechnology patents.

Another administrative challenge involves so-called patent trolls clogging up the patent office and the court system. They buy patents solely to file infringement claims and collect fees rather than to advance U.S. biotechnology. Excessive patent litigation impacts patent prosecution across most industries, including biotechnology.

We recommend learning more about prosecuting patents and protecting associated intellectual property. These two steps help you create a sturdy foundation upon which to continue your work in the field of biotechnology.