Yale Patent Application Claims Rejected as Unpatentable Based on References Submitted to the USPTO by Porta Sophia

MADISON, WI USA (October 5, 2022) A psychedelic patent application that was the subject of a third-party preissuance submission recently filed by Porta Sophia was rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The application, U.S. Pat. App. Ser. No. 17/168,638 entitled “PSYCHEDELIC TREATMENT FOR HEADACHE DISORDERS” filed by Yale University and US Department of Veterans Affairs, describes acute and long-term prevention and treatment of headache disorders, including migraine and cluster headaches, using psychedelics.

Porta Sophia’s third-party preissuance submission, filed February 23, 2022, challenged the patentability of the application's claims on the grounds they are overly broad. Prior art included in this third-party preissuance submission was noted by the USPTO in the rejection of multiple claims on the grounds of a lack of non-obviousness.

The non-final rejection notice from the USPTO specifically cited prior art submitted by Porta Sophia when noting the non-obviousness of multiple claims “Claims 1, 2, 5-7, 11, 26, and 30 are rejected under 35 U.S.C. 103 as being unpatentable over Andersson et al., Harm Reduction Journal 2017 (cited on the third-party IDS of 2/23/22), as evidenced by Beug et. al, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 1982 (cited on the third-party IDS of 2/23/22)”

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: treatment and prevention of headaches using psychedelics

The application, filed on February 5, 2021 and claiming priority to a provisional application filed on February 5, 2020, describes use of psychedelics for the prevention and treatment of headaches. More broadly, drugs claimed as potential innovative treatments in this application were psilocybin, LSD, mescaline, DMT, DOI, and DOB; and the application includes claims regarding treatment method, psychedelic drug dose, and dose regimen.

Prior art included in the third-party preissuance submission consisted of 5 peer reviewed articles published in scientific journals that established the existence of all claimed methods and technologies in the public domain. The prior art documents addressed overly broad claims that have been well established in the public domain and, if improperly granted, risked inhibiting access to psychedelic research, treatment, product development, and funding. These claims included using psychedelics, specifically psilocybin, in either single or multiple doses, to reduce headache burden and/or frequency.

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. This ensures that the documents submitted will be considered in the examination of a patent application. In addition, these submissions have a broad impact because applicants have a duty to disclose the submitted prior art for other relevant patent applications filed by the applicant.

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 get involved or learn more, visit www.portasophia.org.

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, WI 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. To learn more about Porta Sophia’s patent and prior art workflow, visit www.portasophia.org.