RE: Tyramide Amplification
Quite true, and there was a long discussion about that too. But Biogenex has
chosen not to press the issue so we all breath a sigh of relief. You'll
notice, however that few use the term "antigen retrieval" which is what
Biogenex calls their method. That's because people thought they could get
around the problems by using a different term. Interestingly, in their
excellent book on the subject (Antigen Retreival Techniques) Shi, Gu and
Taylor request that people use the term in order to make literature searches
easier - apparently there are so many terms now for antigen retreival that
it is hard to find all the papers that use it.
In the case of tyramide amplification, however, the company, and especially
the person who developed the technique, came out very strongly against
people who promoted making your own tyramide system. That kind of shook
people up and people quit talking about it.
So, we continue to muddle our way through the maze of patent protection.
From: Luis Chiriboga [mailto:Luis.Chiriboga@med.nyu.edu]
Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 2:50 PM
To: Morken, Tim; 'McArthur, Simon'; 'HistoNet Server'
Subject: RE: Tyramide Amplification
I don't mean to play devils advocate, but (I am going to anyway)............
so is microwave HIER
Sorry, I couldn't resist :>
From: Morken, Tim [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 1:19 PM
To: 'McArthur, Simon'; 'HistoNet Server'
Subject: RE: Tyramide Amplification
Uh-oh here we go again! This was discussed at length on Histonet a couple
The tyramide amplification system is proprietary. It is illegal for anyone
to make their own, or even to tell others how to make it. In the States NEN
owns the patent and sells it and licenses it out to other companies. I would
imagine they have some patent agreements in the UK and Europe as well.
Here is part of that earlier discussion from the person who developed the
The patent system goes back at least a couple of hundred
years. The concept
is that by disclosing (and not keeping a secret) an
innovation will continue. In the process of obtaining a
patent, the inventor
must disclose the invention and the best mode of practicing
it (in other
words, they can't hold anything back, or the patent will not
be valid). In
return for disclosing the information and obtaining a
patent, the inventor (or
owner of thte patent) can prevent ANYONE from making, using
or selling the
invention for a limited amount of time (currently it is 20
years from the
filing date). Therefore, except for the inventor or
licensee, one cannot
make, use or sell...not even academic researchers. In the
US, patents are
published after they issue, in Europe, the applications are
months after filing. So, all these things are in the public
except for the inventor or licensee, one cannot make, use or
sell (I know I
Now, the reality of the situation is that if an academic
a patent, the potential damages are so minor, that chances
are nothing will
happen. But, if it is a pathology lab, which is using a
patented method to
report rerults, then this is like selling the invention for
profit, and the
damages could be significant (patent infringement damages
are often multiples
of the actual monetary damages plus legal fees).
Another case where damages could be significant is an
who publishes a patented method and/or encourages others to
infringe. This is
called contributory infringement. The liability now falls
for every case that
cites the original "illegal" disclosure. This is like
finding a way to rob a
bank, and then teaching others how to do so. So for people
who are making
home made tyramides, when they publish the method, they are
for contributory infringement. John Kiernan posted a
message and basically
told everyone on the Histonet to break the law.
When it comes to publications, the laws are different in the
US and Europe.
In the US, one has a year to file a patent application after
disclosure. In Europe, once it is publically disclosed, no
patent is valid.
I published on tyramide amplification in 1989 after filing
applications (which is the way it should be done). The US
patents issued in
1993, 1996 and 1998. Foreign patents have issued as well.
The patents cover
the reagents, their reaction with enzymes, methods and
I think I have covered all your comments/questions. If you
additional information, or want to just talk about it,
please don't hesitate
to contact me. My personal e-mail is MNBobrow@aol.com,
company e-mail is
firstname.lastname@example.org and phone is 617-350-9132.
From: McArthur, Simon [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 12:04 PM
To: 'HistoNet Server'
Subject: Tyramide Amplification
Does anybody know where I can buy some tyramide for tyramide amplification
of immunocytochemistry? I'd rather make it in house than buy the kits if
Dept of Neuroendocrinology,
Imperial College School of Medicine,
Du Cane Road,
Tel: 020 8383 8051
Fax: 020 8383 8032
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