Genentech, Inc. (NYSE: DNA) today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Intent to Issue a Reexamination Certificate (NIRC) confirming the patentability of all claims of the Cabilly et al. patent, U.S. Patent No. 6,331,415 (Cabilly patent), of which claims 21 through 32 were amended in a manner that does not affect the commercial importance of the patent. This favorable decision by the Patent Office is final and unappealable.
“We have always believed that the Cabilly patent represents a new and significant innovation in biotechnology, and we are very pleased with the Patent Office’s final decision in this reexamination proceeding,” said Sean Johnston, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Genentech. “This decision is consistent with the recognition given the Cabilly patent by many biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies that have obtained licenses under the patent for their commercial products.”
The Patent Office has made a copy of the NIRC available to the public on its website. The decision resolves the reexamination proceedings involving the Cabilly patent, which the Patent Office conducted on the basis of two different reexamination requests filed by third parties in 2005 that were later merged into one proceeding. Genentech expects the reexamination certificate will issue later this year, formally concluding the current reexamination proceedings.
The Cabilly patent relates to certain methods used to make antibodies and antibody fragments by recombinant DNA technology, as well as recombinant cells and DNA that are used in those methods. Genentech utilizes this technology for many of its own products and has confidential licensing agreements with a number of companies on the Cabilly patent. Genentech and the City of Hope receive revenue under such license agreements including royalties on sales of products that are covered by one or more claims of the patent.
Founded more than 30 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with significant unmet medical needs. The company has headquarters in South San Francisco, California and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DNA. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.