Cases

Persistence Pays Off

March 6, 2015

Persistence Pays Off

A Swiss biochemist named Peter Burkhard, Ph.D. developed a novel aggregation of designer proteins. The sequences of the proteins were designed so that they would self-assemble into a nanoparticle. The nanoparticle could contain within its core a therapeutic drug, such as a malaria drug, enabling the particle to function as a vaccine.

The U.S. PTO denied patentability on every conceivable ground, including lack of utility, anticipation, obviousness, lack of written description, and lack of enablement. Wenderoth demonstrated that the rejections were erroneous, but after several years the rejections were nonetheless maintained. Wenderoth appealed the rejections to the PTO Board of Appeals. After considering Wenderoth's Briefs and Oral Argument, the Board reversed every ground of rejection.

Wenderoth obtained the U.S. patent for this individual inventor, who is now developing the promising vaccine technology through a small biotechnology company, Alpha-O Peptides.