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Benitec Says USPTO Reverses Rejection of US Patent

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Australia's Benitec said this week that the US Patent and Trademark Office has reversed its previous rejections of claims within the company's core US patent.

The patent, No. 6,573,099, covers gene-expression knockdown using DNA that transcribes double-stranded RNA. It fell under USPTO scrutiny as part of patent-infringement litigation the company initiated against now-defunct expressed RNAi shop Nucleonics, and certain claims within the intellectual property were rejected by the patent office (see GSN, 1/21/2010).

However, Benitec said that the rejection of all appealed claims in the patent has been reversed.

"It is therefore anticipated that the USPTO will soon issue a notice of intent to issue [an] ex parte re-examination certificate … which is analogous to the re-issuance of the patent certificate," the company said. "This notice would formally terminate the re-examination proceeding."