Patent Law Keyed to Adelman
In re Wright
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Wright applied for patents on the processes of producing live, non-pathogenic vaccines against pathogenic RNA viruses, the vaccines produced by these processes, and ways of using these vaccines. His application included only one working example along with a general description of the processes, vaccines and methods to use. The example that was fully described in the application regarded a vaccine that provides immunity in chickens against the RNA tumor virus known as Prague Avian Sarcoma Virus (PrASV), a member of the Rous Associated virus (RAV) family. Wright's application included claims that varied in degree from the specific PrASV vaccine to a general non-pathogenic vaccine for an RNA virus. The application was rejected by the examiner for including only one working example which did not provide adequate likelihood of creating other working examples without excessive experimentation, or that these would be useful to design viral vaccines. Also, the methods described in Wright's application were so undeveloped when filed in 1983 that they did not enable the design and production of vaccines against any and all RNA viruses. The examiner's decision was affirmed by the Board. Wright appealed.
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