Professor Sean Tu Publishes New Scholarship in IDEA

West Virginia University College of Law professor S. Sean Tu recently published new scholarship in IDEA: The Law Review of the Franklin Pierce Center for IP. The article is titled "Antibody Claims and the Evolution of the Written Description / Enablement Requirement" and appeared in volume 63, issue 1 of the journal in January 2023. Professor Tu co-authored the article with Christopher M. Holman of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

From the abstract:

Biologic patents are the basis of some of the most valuable technologies in the pharmaceutical industry. Biologic patents include patents to vaccines, antibodies as well as gene therapy and isolated blood products. This study focuses on the changing nature of a key biologic product, namely antibody patents.

Antibody technology has dramatically advanced in the past few decades. Initially, antibodies were only used as research and diagnostic tools. Currently, however, antibodies have been transformed into powerful therapeutic agents used to treat a panoply of diseases. Correspondingly, the scope of antibody patents has also changed as the technology has also developed.

In the early stages of development, antibody claims were granted broad scope, being defined only by the antigens that they bound to. Currently, antibody patents have been granted very narrow scope. The Federal Circuit and the PTO have used the written description and enablement requirements to narrow the scope of antibody patents, which mirrors the dramatic changes in antibody technology. This article outlines the changes in both Federal Circuit caselaw as well as PTO policy when it comes to antibody biologic products.

Find more of Professor Tu's scholarship on SSRN.

Headshot of Professor Tu