YOU AND your company have discovered a new gene or protein and you want a patent, the question is, how far can that patent extend? Certainly you can claim the isolated gene or protein. You might even be able to claim a protein encoded by a gene. If your gene or protein can be plugged into a standard assay and you describe how to do this, some assay claims may also be possible. But, wouldn't it be great if you could also claim things discovered using that assay!