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Intellectual Property Tools

BPSG has experience with all IP tools available for an invention in order to develop a suite of property assets that form a proprietary platform to drive and structure commercialization strategies and tactics.

In the life sciences, IP is not the only powerful tool used to drive commercialization. Tangible property rights in biological material (“bioproperty”) are an incredibly useful device for controlling the possession and use of an invention.

Few professionals understand the power of bioproperty as a tool in new technology commercialization. Fewer still understand the critical linkage between bioproperty tools and IP. Without that understanding, valuable opportunities may be lost. BPSG considers bioproperty and intellectual property holistically when developing a commercialization strategy.

What is Bioproperty?

Bioproperty is any biological material, including whole plants and animals, their parts, progeny and by-products, including tissues, cells, biomolecules and DNA that are, could, or should be controlled by a government, indigenous group, research institution, commercial entity or person.

Bioproperty can also include populations of animals (such as wild or domestic herds, flocks, or collections, as in zoos and aquaria) or plants (an orchard, nursery, bag of seed, or vials of tissue culture). Each bioproperty has its own set of different and complex rules of ownership and limitations on use.

Bioproperty is often unrecognized as a vital, perhaps even critical, aspect of our everyday lives.

Like any property, bioproperty can be bought, sold, rented, loaned, and gifted. A common practice in life science technology is the transfer of the right of possession of bioproperty, but not ownership. Such transfer of possession but not ownership is executed using a unique type of legal contract called a bailment.

In life science technology, bailments are normally called Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs).

BPSG has over 25 years of experience creating and managing MTAs on behalf of many bioproperty owners and users.

The "Chain of Ownership"

It is important to understand that the ownership of genetic information gleaned from bioproperty (for example, a portion of a gene that was sequenced from a plant or microbe) can be severed from the bioproperty itself. That is, unless careful steps are taken to preserve the "chain of ownership".

A unique, and complicating, characteristic of bioproperty is its ability to replicate or reproduce. For example, cells and microbes can self-replicate and plants can be cloned or grown from seed. Effective measures to maintain ownership of bioproperty must take into account the capacity of the bioproperty to be reproduced.