Patents: A Tool to Bring Innovation from the Lab Bench to the Marketplace

  • Z. Ying Li
  • Wolfram MeyerEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1152)


Intellectual property (IP) is creations of the mind. Protecting IP through patents is an important venue for a researcher to reap rewards from his scientific endeavors. It is part of a competitive strategy for bringing one’s invention to the marketplace. Using the US and European patent systems as examples, we provide here an overview of how patents protect innovation, with a focus on biotechnology. We explain what a patent is, what a patent owner can do with a patent, and how patents are granted. The article ends with some recent examples of noteworthy patents in the field of yeast research.

Key words

Patents Applications European patents US patents European Patent Office (EPO) United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) International patent applications Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Yeast Invention Innovation Novelty Inventive step Support Industrial application Royalties Licenses Infringement 



We would like to thank Drs. Siobhán Yeats, Jose Garcia-Sanz, Manfred Cassens for their careful reading of the manuscript and their helpful comments.

The present article is based on personal considerations by the authors and does not reflect the official positions of the European Patent Office or Ropes & Gray LLP.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ropes & Gray LLPNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.European Patent OfficeMunichGermany

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