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Shortened life spans of biotech pioneer patents in Japan: a lesson from the DNA chip

Strict examinations have resulted in drastically shortened life spans for a broad range of biotech 'pioneer' patents in Japan.

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Figure 1: The short life spans of DNA chip pioneer patents in Japan.
Figure 2: Prolonged examination is an issue that is especially pronounced for pioneer patent applications in Japan.
Figure 3: The short life spans of pioneer biotech patents is a common problem in Japan.


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We thank Y. Yoshikawa and M. Muramatsu (Tokyo Medical and Dental University) and H. Shimizu and K. Shimmi (Shimizu Patent Office) for providing suggestions and comments. This analysis has been supported by Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan).

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Fig. 1

The examinations for pioneer DNA chip patents in Japan are quite strict (PDF 73 kb)

Supplementary Fig. 2

Prolonged examinations for biotechnology pioneer patents take place in Japan (PDF 75 kb)

Supplementary Table 1

Restricted validities of claims for OGT pioneer patents (PDF 74 kb)

Supplementary Table 2

Restricted validities of claims for Affymetrix pioneer patents (PDF 73 kb)

Supplementary Note 1

Claims of OGT's and Affymetrix's patents (PDF 66 kb)

Supplementary Note 2

Struggle between Affymetrix and the JPO (PDF 63 kb)

Supplementary Note 3

Request examination (PDF 58 kb)

Supplementary Methods (DOC 25 kb)

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Aida, T., Konishi, A., Hagiwara, M. et al. Shortened life spans of biotech pioneer patents in Japan: a lesson from the DNA chip. Nat Biotechnol 25, 533–535 (2007).

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