News of the WeekPCR

Roche Dealt a Setback on European Taq Patent

Science  08 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5523, pp. 1815
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5523.1815a

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On 30 May the European Patent Office revoked Swiss pharmaceutical giant Hoffmann-La Roche's patent on native Taq polymerase, a crucial element of the polymerase chain reaction, the ubiquitous technique used to amplify snippets of DNA. Roche officials say they will appeal the ruling. But this is a costly setback, because the company is already fighting to overturn related decisions in both the United States and Australia.