Applied DNA earns new SigNature patent, more T’d up

Private property: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a new patent to Applied DNA Sciences -- the Stony Brook biotech's 53rd -- covering DNA "taggants."

Applied DNA Sciences has added two new U.S. patents to its impressive collection – at least, a new patent-and-a-half.

The Stony Brook-based supply-chain, anti-counterfeiting, anti-theft and product-authentication specialist announced this week the arrival of U.S. Patent No. 9,790,538, covering “Alkaline Activation for Immobilization of DNA Taggants” – essentially, protecting the core technology powering Applied DNA’s SigNature T molecular tags.

The biotech also announced a Notice of Allowance on U.S. Patent Application 15/027,454, covering the company’s Multimode Image and Spectral Reader, which enables instant authentication of DNA-tagged products.

A Notice of Allowance indicates that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office believes an invention qualifies for a patent, but the applicant has not completed the patent-application process – often including the payment of certain patent-processing fees.

That will happen soon enough, according to Applied DNA President and CEO James Hayward, who noted many potential verticals opened up by a fully protected multimode reader.

“The patenting of our MMR device paves the way for the instant authentication of a broad range of taggants and exciting licensing opportunities,” Hayward said.

Issued in mid-October, the SigNature T DNA taggants patent is directed at methods of enhancing the “binding affinity of molecular tags to a variety of textile substrates, including cotton, wool, cellulosic materials and manmade fibers,” according to Applied DNA.

James Hayward: Patents priceless as biotech blossoms.

The enhanced binding affinity of the SigNature T molecular tags enables the tags to survive harsh manufacturing processes – including those commonly used in leather, cotton and synthetics manufacturing – and is “integral to the company’s pursuit of a global textile industry anticipated to grow to $910 billion in sales in 2019,” the company said in a statement.

The Multimode Image and Spectral Reader allowance, issued in late October, provides for instant detection and identification of a wide variety of optical, molecular, olfactory and radio-based taggants through the use of “electronic sensor capture and digital database analysis,” according to the biotech.

The handheld MMR device can rapidly detect one or more of those taggants and compare them to a library of “known taggant configurations,” thereby providing “instant authentication,” Applied DNA said.

While that second new patent is still officially pending, the issuance of Patent No. 9,790,538 raises Applied DNA’s patent portfolio to 53, with more than 70 further applications still being considered by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

The company was issued four U.S. patents and one Canadian patent in 2016, including one patent covering fiber-typing services currently utilized by major U.S. retailers and brands and SigNature T supply-chain partners, and another covering the SigNature T platform itself.

Those protections are critical, Hayward noted, as recognition of Applied DNA and its powerful products quickly spreads.

“Protecting our innovations has always been a cornerstone of Applied DNA,” the CEO said. “Our robust intellectual property portfolio is more important than ever, as industry awareness and acceptance of our technologies is rapidly growing.

“We take great pride in the patenting of our SigNature T molecular tags, providing us with broad long-term market exclusivity.”