- Guillermo Menéndez teaches a Course on”Patents in Biotechnology and its Related Fields”
There are several figures for the protection of innovation in biotechnology. Clarifying the differences between them has been one of the objectives of the course taught by Guillermo Menéndez, patent adviser at the Biotechnology Department of ABG Intellectual Property, to the attendees of Patents Week Gran Canaria.
The conference “Patents in biotechnology and its related fields” was held at the Elder Museum of Science and Technology of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. For 3 days, the same venue has hosted multiple talks, workshops and meetings with the participation of members of the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Higher Council of Scientific Research (CSIC), among other instituitions.
The importance of biotechnology patents
Treatment and diagnostic methods, genes and sequences, antibodies, stem cells and cells, and living organisms are the most common biotechnological patents. Each type of those patents is affected by a particular set of regulations and they were taught in the course.
In this regard, Guillermo Menéndez underlined the importance of not disclosing the inventions before filing the patent application.
“Your own disclosure can be state of the art for your invention and that could hinder patentability,” he warned.
He also reminded that it is considered state of the art anything that proofs that the invention was already known. It includes everything from blogs or news on the internet to thesis, posters or publications, among others.
On the other hand, he also explained those protection figures that are specific to innovation in biotechnology, such as the Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) that can protect a pharmaceutical or phytosanitary product for up to five years after the expiration date of the patent.
“Direct exploitation of the invention, sale of the patent or licensing are the possibilities that are opened once the patent is obtained,” he said.
The goal: transferring knowledge to companies
This is the second edition of the Patents Week Gran Canaria organized by University of Las Palmas and the Canarian Technological Science Park Foundation (FCPCT). Its goal is to raise awareness among scientists and researches of the need to patent their inventions for transferring knowledge to companies. In fact, researchers and companies had the opportunity to meet in one-to-one sessions to find ways of collaboration.
Guillermo Menéndez holds a Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Microfluids from Imperial College London and he is a Qualified Spanish Patent and Trademark Agent (2017). His PhD project at Imperial College London involved the development of microfluidic systems for the compartmentalised culture of primary neurons and the characterisation of the neurotrophin signalling cascade. In 2015 he joined the Department of Biotechnology of ABG Intellectual Property.