Washington Law Review


The patentability of chemical compounds related as genus and species presents a problem in deciding the proper scope of patent protection granted to an inventor. Should the inventor of a genus be granted a patent covering all of the often numerous compounds which the genus might include? Should disclosure of the genus automatically eliminate a later inventor's ability to patent individual members of the genus, or should a court consider genus size and similarity of structure and properties in deciding patentability of the individual species? The Court of Customs and Patent Appeals has examined some of these issues.This comment will discuss and synthesize its decisions.

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