The Psybrary™: 12 Choose Your Own Adventure Stories, Millions of Endings
March 11th, 2021
App, Exclusive, Psychedelics, Top News
MagicMed’s PsybraryTM is a remarkable and impressive achievement that, pending patent approval, could provide patent protection to more than an estimated 125 million derivatives. While 125 million derivatives is a big number, two clarifications should be made. Firstly, this number does not indicate that they have locked a small army of scientists away to fulfill the sole purpose of synthesizing 125 million different molecules. Secondly, MagicMed has not filed 125 million separate and individual patents to protect each molecule. In fact, MagicMed has synthesized just over 200 of the potential molecules included in the PsybraryTM. Through the filing of 12 provisional patents, MagicMed has started the process to secure protection for some of the molecules within the PsybraryTM. A provisional patent application allows for an earlier filing date at a lower cost and serves as a 12-month placeholder should a company choose to pursue full patent protection later. These provisional patents can be converted to nonprovisional patent applications at a later date and, if granted, would grant patent protections recognized internationally through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). But what does this really mean? It might be useful to think of these patents like complicated, legally based, choose your own adventure stories.
The Structure of a Patent
Patents, like stories, are organized in specific ways and rely on certain sections to tell the story of an invention. They both start with and rely on a title to give a reader some idea of what they will be reading about. Then, where a story will have pages mentioning the author, the publisher, and any acknowledgments, a patent has sections that name the inventors, the company that might have rights to the invention, and any previous or related patent submissions. Whereas Language Arts laid out the sections of a story on a diagram, a patent’s structure tells a story by describing what sector or industry an invention operates in by summarizing the invention, and then providing a detailed description of the invention in question. This creates a truly exciting story for people well versed in patents and intellectual property. The parallel between choose your own endings books and patents is found in the claims section of a patent. The claims section of a patent is the most important section. If a particular molecule is like the conclusion to one story, the claims are the statements that define the scope and process that result in the conclusion.
The Structure of a Claim
The first part of the claim, the preamble, defines the scope of the invention and identifies which category an invention belongs to: a physical item (a device or molecule), a method or way of doing something (how something is made), or a novel way of using something (commonly seen when drugs are repurposed for new indications). Following the preamble is one of three transitional phrases: “comprising”, “consisting of”, and “consisting essentially of”, and then the body of the claim. The transitional phrases are critical in dictating how narrow or wide the scope of a claim will be. Use of the transitional phrase “comprising” allows for a somewhat flexible set of parameters to be outlined in the body of the claim. While “comprising” is somewhat flexible, “consisting of” indicates that the invention is restricted to a specific, narrow set of parameters. Lastly, “Consisting essentially of” indicates that an invention is limited by certain parameters, additional components may present, but that they do not significantly change the nature of the invention. If a claim uses the transitional phrase “comprising”, it provides enough detail to give a rough estimate of the invention and can be considered to be an independent claim. Claims that use “consisting of”, often do not fully define an invention, reference an earlier independent claim, and are considered dependent. When used in collaboration, independent claims provide a broad definition, which is then supported and refined through subsequent dependent claims.
Choose Your Own Ending
Now that you have an idea of the structure of a patent and the claims within them we can revisit the analogy of a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. In many stories a hero is assigned a somewhat vague task, the “quest”, that is characterized by “honor”, “danger”, and “someone who requires saving”, among other requirements. This quest is much like an independent claim. It contains some rough parameters that provide some scope to the quest but overall, it lacks specifics. After being assigned a quest, the hero usually encounters side characters that each possess their own opinions of “honor”, “danger”, and “someone who requires saving”, that will further define the scope of the quest. For example, “honor” could mean saving a village or personal sacrifice by the hero, “danger” could mean preventing a natural catastrophe or involve the slaying of a dangerous monster, and “someone who requires saving” could literally be anyone. In each case, these characters, and the structure they provide, are much like dependent claims. Depending on the rough definition of a quest, which side characters are encountered, and what their opinions are regarding the events of the quest, the hero will be faced with a multitude of journeys that can all be considered a “quest”. This same variability is reflected in defining the scope of an invention and any possible derivatives.
This variability is especially true for drugs that share a similar core structure. Benzoxazole derivatives make up a diverse group of drugs with medicinal properties that range from killing bacteria to relieving pain, and are all based off a simpler molecule, benzoxazole. A core structure can be chemically altered so that certain chemical groups are added to a specific location. A molecule and the different chemical groups that are added are like the quest and its vague requirements. The chemical groups may contain many different and related structures, are defined by the claims, and establish which derivatives belong to an invention. Boxazomycin A and B are two kinds of benzoxazole derivative antibiotics produced through modification of a single chemical group (denoted by “R” within the red circle). While this example is simple, one group with two possibilities and two possible derivatives, some molecules can have multiple groups added and can be limited by claims with 100s or 1000s of acceptable alternatives. Claims that expand the scope of an invention using related modification are known as Markush claims and are common in the pharmaceutical industry. A core molecule with 3 R-groups with each having 100 possible modifications will produce one million different combinations (100*100*100). Different psychedelic structures, each with numerous potential modifications, allow MagicMed to file different patents and protect millions of different molecules. Much like a library expanding its collection of books, MagicMed will continue to expand its intellectual property, add more patents to its portfolio, and grow the PsybraryTM to house even more patent-protected molecules.
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