RE: Tyramide Amplification

From:"Morken, Tim"

Luis wrote: 

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.

Tim Morken

-----Original Message-----
From: Luis Chiriboga []
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 :>

-----Original Message-----
From: Morken, Tim []
Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 1:19 PM
To: 'McArthur, Simon'; 'HistoNet Server'
Subject: RE: Tyramide Amplification

Simon wrote:

Uh-oh here we go again! This was discussed at length on Histonet a couple
years ago.

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
invention, technological
                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
published 18
                months after filing.  So, all these things are in the public
domain.  Still,
                except for the inventor or licensee, one cannot make, use or
sell (I know I
                repeated this).

                Now, the reality of the situation is that if an academic
researcher infringes
                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
academic investigator
                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
potentially liable
                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
appropriate patent
                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
would like
                additional information, or want to just talk about it,
please don't hesitate
                to contact me.  My personal e-mail is,
company e-mail is
       and phone is 617-350-9132.


                Mark Bobrow

-----Original Message-----
From: McArthur, Simon []
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


Simon McArthur

Dept of Neuroendocrinology,
Imperial College School of Medicine,
Commonwealth Building,
Hammersmith Hospital,
Du Cane Road,
W12 0NN

Tel: 020 8383 8051
Fax: 020 8383 8032

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