COMPASS Pathways Amends Claims of US Patent Application Describing Psilocybin for the Treatment of Depression

Psychedelic drug company submits revised, narrower set of claims five months after Porta Sophia’s third-party preissuance submission challenged patentability

MADISON, WI USA (August 25, 2022) Psychedelic drug company COMPASS Pathways PLC has today canceled 137 of their original 162 claims of U.S. Pat. App. Ser. No. 17/604,610 entitled “TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION AND OTHER VARIOUS DISORDERS WITH PSILOCYBIN”. On February 25, 2022, Porta Sophia filed a third-party preissuance submission that challenged the patentability of the application's claims on the grounds they are overly broad.

Porta Sophia, a non-profit psychedelic prior art library, leverages the experience of legal and interdisciplinary academic scholars to promote an ethical psychedelic patenting landscape that preserves the integrity of the public domain. The organization curates and makes readily available relevant historical documentation for patent examiners and the public alike to explore the scope of psychedelic technologies.

Porta Sophia also tracks and analyzes psychedelic patent applications. If the team determines an application improperly claims innovation of something known in the public domain, they assemble evidence against these invalid claims and contests them directly to the USPTO through third-party preissuance submissions.

Patent application: a psilocybin to treat depression

The COMPASS application, filed on October 18, 2021, claims priority to a number of provisional applications filed in 2019 and describes the treatment of depressive disorders or one of their signs or symptoms with psilocybin. The original application included claims specific to the drug, its purity, dosage, dosage regimen, delivery method, formulation, and the set and setting in which it is delivered.

Prior art in the third-party preissuance submission included publications from peer reviewed journals, domestic and foreign patent documents, product descriptions, industry guidelines, news reports, documents from post grant review filings against this same party, and evidence published in public online forums. This prior art addressed overly broad claims of subject matter that has been well established in the public domain – as such, grant of these claims would risk inhibiting psychedelic access and development. The challenged claims included those describing set and setting, such as using an eye mask or administering psilocybin in a room with muted colors containing “soft furniture” like a bed or couch – which been publicly criticized by and drew outrage from some in the psychedelic field.

The current set of 25 pending claims has been revised to be narrower in scope than the originally filed claims of the application. Specifically, claims were amended to include only COMPASS Pathways' previously patented crystalline psilocybin polymorph. The highly controversial claims regarding set and setting have been completely cancelled.

Third-party submissions of prior art

The America Invents Act allows third parties to submit prior art and concise descriptions of their relevance to the USPTO. Documents submitted may be considered in the examination of that patent application. In addition, these submissions have a broad impact because applicants have a duty to disclose the prior art submitted against a single patent application for other relevant patent applications filed by the applicant.

Porta Sophia also tracks and analyzes patent applications. If an application improperly claims something known to be in the public domain and meets all the standards of Porta Sophia's third party pre-issuance submission evaluation criteria, the team assembles prior art relevant to evaluating the novelty and non-obviousness of the application and presents these directly to the USPTO through third-party preissuance submissions.

About Porta Sophia

Porta Sophia, meaning doorway to wisdom, is a non-profit psychedelic prior art library created to support good patents in the field of psychedelics. Based in Madison, Wisconsin USA, Porta Sophia identifies scientific, historical and cultural prior art in common and uncommon spaces and brings it together in one simple search tool for innovators and patent reviewers. The organization's mission is to protect the public domain, stimulate innovation, and support good patents to assure psychedelic therapies can one day be available at scale to the people who need them.

Porta Sophia works to support equity in the psychedelic field. The organization facilitates community engagement through encouraging submissions of prior art from the public and organizing an interdisciplinary Archival Researcher Network (ARN) to ensure quality psychedelic prior art is readily available to patent applicants, examiners, and those interested in psychedelic research.

To learn more about Porta Sophia's patent and prior art workflow or get involved, visit www.portasophia.org.