European Patent Office Upholds Molecular Devices Planar Patch Clamp Patent
SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 18 /PRNewswire/ — Molecular Devices today announced that European Patent Office (EPO) has upheld Molecular Devices foundational planar patch-clamp patent (EP No 1 040 349 B1). The board will issue a written decision to this effect in the near future. The ruling will be the final determination of the EPO and cannot be appealed.
“Molecular Devices is extremely pleased that the European Patent Office will uphold our planar patch-clamp patent,” said Mark Verheyden, President of Molecular Devices, Inc. “This planar patch clamp patent is one of several that are of strategic importance to our automated electrophysiology business. The innovation that went into these patents enables the development of next generation automated electrophysiology platforms, such as the IonWorks Barracuda(TM) High-Speed Automated Patch Clamp System.”
The ruling recognizes Molecular Devices novel application of using an electric field to position and seal cells for electrophysiological measurement on a planar substrate. This capability has revolutionized the way pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies screen new chemical entities against ion channel targets implicated in diseases such as, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, cystic fibrosis, immune disorders, and pathological pain.
The European Patent was originally filed with the EPO on 28 July 1998 and granted on 05 September 2001. Opposition of the patent was filed by a single company on the grounds that particular prior art deprived the patents of novelty or inventiveness. On 14 April 2010, the EPO found the patent to be novel and inventive with an amended set of method claims.
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SOURCE Molecular Devices, Inc.