Nobel laureate, Morten Meldal, is racing towards the next scientific discovery with HØIBERG at his side
Morten Meldal is an extremely busy man. As a professor at the University of Copenhagen, he always has a full schedule and after receiving the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in December 2022 for discovering click chemistry, he has more to do than ever.
Consequently, time management is of the utmost importance for Morten Meldal.
The race to scientific breakthroughs — there are no awards for second place
When a scientist has spent years laying the groundwork for a new scientific breakthrough and is finally able to publish their findings in a scientific article, it simply will not do if there suddenly are substantial delays around the process of patenting the associated inventions.
“Other researchers are always breathing down your neck, so timing is extremely important. A month’s delay could be the difference between a Nobel Prize or not. You’re never the only one with a bright idea,” says Morten Meldal.
“I’ve been impressed with how quickly HØIBERG delivers once the patent process begins — most of the time, it takes about a month,” he adds.
Technical depth and broad scientific expertise ensure a speedy process
For a patent process to go smoothly and without delays, it is necessary that the parties involved can keep up with each other. When the subject matter is fundamental research that has barely been described before, the technical and professional demands required of patent attorneys are extremely high.
“If you have to educate your patent attorney in your field of research before you even begin the patent process, the result will never be great. It will prolong the process and become unbearable. Luckily, that’s never been the case with HØIBERG,” says Morten Meldal.
Professor at the University of Copenhagen
Photo: Lars Krabbe
Commercial viability is not just about the money
Morten Meldal’s research is mostly in the world of “blue skies research” — a term used to describe fundamental research that holds both great promise and a significant risk of failure.
These kinds of projects rarely have an immediate or direct commercial utility, as opposed to product-based patents. However, these are the projects that possess the potential for great intellectual discoveries – the discoveries that pioneers like Morten Meldal are chasing.
Even though Morten Meldal’s motivation is much more existential in nature than commercial, he knows that an unprotected invention is not very likely to succeed commercially. If an invention does not have patent protection, it is unlikely that anyone will develop it.
“HØIBERG’s employees are methodical in sniffing out any commercially weak points in your idea. It’s very important to uncover those in the early stages of the process and that takes experience,” reflects Morten Meldal.
“The patent process demands expert knowledge. It’s a life-long learning process. Experience is extremely important. There are no shortcuts. Not for the inventor and not for HØIBERG either,” concludes Morten Meldal.
Patents equal persistency
Having worked with patent attorneys for a long time, Morten Meldal has had his share of unpleasant experiences in the world of patent law.
“I’ve ended up losing a patent because the American agency I was using didn’t renew it. Apparently, they forgot the deadline, after which there was really nothing that could be done,” remembers Morten Meldal.
By now, Morten Meldal’s working relationship with HØIBERG stretches back over two decades and dozens of patents.
“HØIBERG’s attorneys are top-notch when it comes to keeping track of the practicalities. They are skilled project managers and I’ve never experienced any missed deadlines or surprises. They’re always comfortably ahead of time whenever there’s something I need to be aware of, and that saves me time,” he ends.
And time matters — especially when it comes to patents and Nobel Prizes.
Click chemistry - Copper makes it ‘click’
Click chemistry represents an efficient method of composing increasingly complicated molecules.
To put it simply, click chemistry uses copper as a catalyst to “click” together different chemical entities in a specified manner. This allows designing molecules made up of different entities having different functions — something that was previously unattainable.
Click chemistry has opened new horizons
The potential that click chemistry holds is difficult to overstate. The ability to create new, specifically designed materials opens new horizons for a plethora of scientific fields, as well as industrial and medicinal applications. Imagine a pharmaceutical ‘clicked’ together, thereby combining a molecule that can identify a specific type of unhealthy cell, a molecule that can safely enter the cell, and a molecule that can effectively neutralize the cell. The therapeutic potential alone is simply groundbreaking.
Photo: Lars Krabbe
The Nobel Prize for Chemistry: Click Chemistry
Professor Morten Meldal, University of Copenhagen, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2022 for the discovery of click chemistry. The award was jointly awarded to Morten Meldal, K. Barry Sharpless and Carolyn R. Bertozzi for discovering the same concept independently.
More than two decades of discovery without skipping a beat
Morten Meldal’s career has led him from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) over the University of Cambridge and the Carlsberg Research Laboratory, to the University of Copenhagen. HØIBERG’s working relationship with Morten Meldal has lasted more than two decades and seen dozens of successfully submitted and issued patents.
Get in touch
Want to hear more about how HØIBERG can help your scientific break-through become commercially viable?
Contact European Patent Attorney Louise Aagard