Patent Eligibility and Engineered Natural Products

Overcoming 101 Challenges, Leveraging Options to Obtain IP Protection

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will guide patent counsel on patent eligibility issues with engineered natural products. The panel will examine the key considerations in determining patentability and review recent case law. The panel will also address alternatives for getting IP protection for engineered natural products.


Companies are making engineered natural products, often to address health problems. Whether creating synthetic milk or anti-cancer drugs, inventors and their counsel must carefully consider the best way to protect the rights to the product. If an engineered product is not distinguishable from that which naturally occurs, getting patent protection will be more difficult.

Addressing patent eligibility issues early in the process is critical. Patent counsel should carefully describe the product. The terminology in this space is evolving, and counsel should stay on top of what is working at the USPTO. Further, full disclosure, both of the product and process, in the patent application can be important.

When seeking patent protection, counsel should weigh the pros and cons of product claims protection and the likelihood of patentability. Counsel should consider other types of claims, such as method claims, product by process claims and trade secrets, that can protect the invention.

Listen as our authoritative panel examines the key considerations when determining whether an engineered natural product is patentable. The panel will discuss the Myriad decision as well as other recent decisions and what they mean for patentability of engineered natural products. The panel will also address options for getting engineered natural products patented.



  1. Determining if product is patentable—key considerations
  2. Recent cases and what they mean for patentability of engineered natural products
  3. Other options for protecting IP rights in engineered natural products
  4. Method claims
    1. Product by process claims
    2. Trade secrets
    3. Others


The panel will review these and other relevant issues:

  • What are the hurdles for patent counsel to demonstrate an engineered natural product is patentable?
  • How can patent counsel meet the requirements under §101 in patent applications for engineered natural products?
  • What steps should patent counsel take to minimize the likelihood of §101 rejections?


Carron, Virginia
Virginia L. Carron

Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner

Ms. Carron practices patent and trademark litigation and counseling. Her broad client base includes a large food and...  |  Read More

Marks, Jessica
Jessica L.A. Marks

Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner

Ms. Marks focuses her practice on patent prosecution and litigation related to many technologies, including...  |  Read More

Sommers, Erin
Erin M. Sommers, Ph.D.

Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner

Dr. Sommers helps clients protect their IP rights at every stage, from strategic counseling and procuring patents...  |  Read More

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