- It depends. If your invention is a product of nature, it falls under excluded subject matter. However, if your invention does not occur naturally and can only exist through some work on your part, you may be able to get a patent. For example, You cannot patent a species of mouse that you find running around your laboratory
- You can patent a genetically engineered mouse that you designed for use in cancer research
- You cannot patent a combination of bacteria with beneficial properties if that combination occurs somewhere in nature
- You can patent a species of bacteria that you genetically alter to solve a common problem if that form does not occur naturally
You can patent a species of bacteria that you genetically alter to solve a common problem if that form does not occur naturally
“Additionally, some companies have now both trademarked and patented their “own” bacteria. Trademarked bacteria are naturally occurring strains not “owned” by the company, but they have given them a ‘consumer friendly’ name which that company uses instead of the actual scientific name. So if you see a product that says it has “Defensis Maximus” bacteria… It’s likely just a strain of Lactobacillus with a fancy name.Patented bacteria are actually engineered by a company from naturally occurring bacteria. Because they are now a “proprietary” strain, that company can then patent and “own” that strain of bacteria. Both can be combined, with a patented engineered bacteria also being given a “consumer friendly” name.”
tr.v. en·gi·neered, en·gi·neer·ing, en·gi·neers1. To plan, construct, or manage as an engineer.2. To alter or produce by methods of genetic engineering: "Researchers . . . compared insulin manufactured by bacteria genetically engineered with recombinant DNA techniques to the commercial insulin obtained from swine or cattle" (Fusion).3. To plan, manage, and put through by skillful acts or contrivance; maneuver.