Markush Structure: A Brief Analysis

Eugene Markush brought a drastic change in the scientific IP (intellectual property) by authoring a patent in 1924.  Also, it was the beginning of the Markush Structure. There was a phrase among his claims that brought a different perception for the examiners.

‘The process for the manufacture of dyes which comprizes coupling with a halogen-substituted pyrazolone, a diazotized unsuphonated material selected from the group consisting of aniline, homologues of aniline and halogen substitution products of aniline’.

At first, the patent examiner rejected the broad language. Markush appealed to the US Commissioner for Patent. Thus, he was able to obtain US Patent Number 1506316 for “Pyrazolone Dye and Process of making the same”. Also, it started the practice of creating more generic claims. It allows the applicant to claim a number of chemical structures with the help of a single claim. The Markush structure is unique to chemistry. However, one may relate the concept with engineering, mechanics, architecture, and even IT. Moreover, these claims describe a group of related designs, structures, styles, systems, or organizations in a simpler way.

In chemistry, the Markush structure defines a simple way to describe a number of different chemical constructions that accomplish the same or similar function. These structures are helpful in:

  • Identifying similar structures
  • Performing patent literature searches
  • Researching on patentability opportunities
  • Searching for prior art claims to determine potential infringement

Markush Structure

Example: US Patent 6 268 504 (9) that defines a chemical class

Also Read: How to Write a Patent Application Accurately?

Markush Structure Database: MARPAT

There is a particular database for the Markush structure search. It is called MARPAT®. Searching within a general database as well as a Markush database is essential. MARPAT retrieves references for a particular structure. Therefore, a client may seek help from the Markush structure database if he is looking to create a generic version of the structure.

However, the use of Markush structure in patents is becoming very difficult to interpret. This is so because the patentee tries to cover the maximum number of functional equivalent every time. The amount of data and complexity makes the Markush structure database search a difficult, time consuming and lengthy process.

Some of the important facts about the MARPAT are:

  • Covers more than 1.1 million Markush structures which are updated on a regular basis (1988-present)
  • Includes 471,000+ citations for Markush structure-containing patents (till September 2016)
  • Works as an extension of the CAS REGISTRY and contains generic and atom-level variable structures
  • A searcher may enter both MARPAT and CAS REGISTRY in order to obtain the most detailed, up-to-date information. Also, it helps to avoid potential oversights.
  • The client may obtain the most comprehensive choice available during the FTO search with the help of official search services of CAS.

Also Read: Patent Draft: Major Core Principles

Draft with Perfection: Patent Drafting Catalyst

Our team flashes 10+ years of experience in supporting patent specification with 200+ full-time patent engineers and 30+ technology areas. Our experience includes working with multiple patent projects from multiple countries for patent drafting.

We always stay up-to-date about the latest laws and all acceptable practices. Our patent engineers understand the value of comprehensive patent claims in terms of infringement litigation and patent commercialization. Moreover, we make sure to draft excellent quality patent applications with the best outcomes. Also, our prices are economical and budget-friendly. To grasp more of our services please visit, the Patent Drafting Catalyst.

Other Related Articles:

Why online patent paralegal services are important?

Important Tips and tricks to remember about Patent Illustration

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *