Issue Date: August 27, 2007
In his letter to the editor, Art Goldcamp says a patent should be issued on a resolved stereoisomer, not just the resolving process, because the process is hard to do (C&EN, July 2, page 2). The basis for a patent, though, is not whether something is easy or hard but whether it is new, useful, and not obvious.
For the resolving process, this could very well be true. For the isomer itself, Goldcamp undercuts his own argument by stating, "This presumes that the other isomer will not be found 'effective' for some other use." In other words, it's already well-known (obvious) to those skilled in the art that most racemates have an active and an ineffective isomer.
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