Psychedelic prior art library contributes to the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics Series

"Critical Psychedelic Studies: Correcting the Hype"

CAMBRIDGE, MA USA (February 14, 2023) Harvard Law School’s blog, Bill of Health, today has published Porta Sophia’s contribution to the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics series “Critical Psychedelic Studies: Correcting the Hype”.

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 relevant historical documentation readily available for anyone wanting to explore the scope of psychedelic technologies, including patent examiners.

The post: hype, what generates it, and the threat it poses to the public domain

Porta Sophia’s blog post, “Beyond the Psychedelic Competitive Moat: Chasing the Patent Dragon”, authored by Dr. Amanda Rose Pratt, Data Archivist at Porta Sophia and an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric of Science at Kennesaw State University, and Dr. Shahin Shams, Data Curator at Porta Sophia who focuses on the 3rd party submission efforts, discusses the emergence of overly broad psychedelic patents in recent years and describes the impact of Porta Sophia's third-party submissions in preventing hype-driven sequestration of information rightfully in the public domain.

The publication presents this through a case-study of the psychedelic biotech company MindMed, Inc., an entity that routinely files patent applications that contain claims that infringe on the public domain – as demonstrated by Porta Sophia filing third party interventions against many of those applications (9 U.S. and 6 international, to date). In addition to detailing the history of MindMed and its lucrative collaboration with the Universitätsspital Basel, an investigation of public disclosures and intellectual property filings relating to this partnership is presented to demonstrate how hype is leveraged to entice investors to fund robust intellectual property portfolios. Finally, a third-party submission case study is presented that demonstrates how prior art accessibility plays a part in mitigating the threat hype poses to the public domain, and how existing USPTO policy falls short on ensuring that this prior art is utilized to its fullest extent across patent families.

Third-party submissions of prior art

United States patent law 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 tracks and analyzes psychedelic patent applications globally. If an application improperly claims innovation of something known in the public domain and meets the standards of Porta Sophia's third party intervention evaluation criteria, the team assembles evidence against these invalid claims and contests them directly to the relevant patent office through third-party interventions.

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Learn about the status and impact of Porta Sophia's third party submissions and observations.

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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