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Microbiology and the Microbiome

Microbiology is a key discipline that underpins many aspects of modern biotechnology and has further grown in significance in recent years as the importance of the microbiome to health has been revealed. Many new opportunities using and targeting bacteria are opening in diagnostics, agriculture, food manufacture and synthetic biology and the therapeutic potential of targeting the microbiome is now beginning to be realised.

However, protecting inventions relating to and targeting bacteria presents particular challenges. Bacterial products such as live biotherapeutic products are extremely complex and it can be difficult to define bacteria in patent claims in a way that maximises the scope and utility of claims, whilst suitably distinguishing them from the prior art.  Similarly, care is required to ensure that claims directed to consortia of bacteria or to diagnostic methods are as commercially relevant and valuable as possible.

The complexity of bacteria and bacterial products is also reflected in associated analysis, manufacturing and formulation methods, which often makes them particularly important to protect.

Strategies adopted from other classes of biological products are not optimally effective. Instead, creativity and an approach tailored for bacteria are required. J A Kemp has the specific experience and expertise necessary for drafting, prosecuting and defending patents relating to bacteria. We have supported a range of clients for many years and have built and defended comprehensive patent portfolios in diverse fields including bacterial therapeutics, agricultural bacteriology and industrial biotechnology.

J A Kemp also has extensive experience helping clients navigate the complex requirements for depositing microorganisms under the Budapest Treaty. Our knowledge ensures that this key procedure is completed successfully to support robust patent applications.