There have been several patent applications filed recently that I thought would be useful to cover together so our readers can compare how companies present data. The most important component of scientific patents I cover is the data that lends evidence to the claims being made within. This article will focus on seeing how different companies present data and what we can deduce from their choice of presentation. If you’ve read my series covering varies medical cannabis patents, you won’t be surprised by the claims people attempt to make on the back of limited data.
New West Genetics:
New West Genetics recently published a patent application titled “Industrial Hemp Cannabis Cultivars and Seeds with Stable Cannabinoid Profiles”. This is the data they provided in the application:
They took samples from the cannabis cultivar and measured cannabinoid/terpene content. Simple right? Seeing this data, you’d expect the claims to be fairly narrow and specific to the cannabinoid/terpene content of the plant, because only that data was presented. Lets take a look at some of the claims:
I had to take a sampling of the claims since they have 3 pages of them. As you can see, New West Genetics has tried to make claims that go well beyond the data. Trying to claim herbicide, insect and disease resistances for a plant they never tested any of those on doesn’t make sense. This is a classic example of presenting a tiny amount of data, then trying to patent the moon.
Betterseeds has recently filed a patent application titled “Herbicide Resistant Cannabis Plant”. With that title, I sure hope they tested herbicide resistance. Lets take a look:
Wait a second, that’s not data. Those are just paragraphs stating “said mutated protein confers herbicide resistance to a Cannabis plant”. Yes indeed, this patent has 0 data. I could have created everything in this patent from my laptop without ever having done an experiment. Rule of thumb, when people tell you things in formal documents like a patent application and provide no data to back it up, it means they don’t have any data.
Willow published a patent application covering some modifications they did to the first step in the cannabinoid biosynthetic pathway (not OAC for those wondering about the lawsuit, that’s still undetermined). Lets look at the data:
This presentation of data is not to the standard I’d expect for an academic publication, but it’s great for a patent application. They provide the concentration of feedstock, experimental conditions and the concentration of the product. It would be nice if they used some statistics to show variance, but it’s not bad. If I performed my own experiment using their methodology, I could directly compare our results.
I’ve covered Amyris’s latest patent application before. Now lets take a look at how they presented the data in that application:
Instead of providing concentrations like Willow, Amyris has opted to make everything relative to their control. This means no one can compare Amyris’s results to data outside the patent, since you can’t compare an absolute to relative data. From my perspective, the only reason to present data as a relative is if you’re trying to hide something. Does Ginkgo do the same?
Ginkgo Bioworks has many patent applications to select from, I’ll go with the most recent. Lets look at the data:
Now THIS is how you present data. Concentrations of more than one product presented with their standard deviations. It’s hard to hide when you’re presenting the most pertinent data of the experiment like this. Of any patent application I’ve read in the cannabis industry, Ginkgo is head and shoulders above everyone else when it comes to data presentation. That doesn’t necessarily translate into getting their applications granted, but it helps show the reviewer the unique experiments they’ve done to try and make the claims they’re making.
While many of our readers may not have science backgrounds, you can still look at how data is presented to see how ‘open’ a company is being in their patent applications. Is there any data at all? Is it presented as a relative or absolute number? Did they present the data with appropriate statistical tests like standard deviation or error? Keep these in mind when doing research.
The preceding is the opinion of the author, and is in no way intended to be a recommendation to buy or sell any security or derivative. The author has no position in any company mentioned.