Sunday, May 3, 2015

When does the Orbitrap patent expire?

Quick lunchtime answer to a question that comes up once in a while...when does the Orbitrap patent expire?  A quick look on Google Scholar led me to US Patent 7714283 (here!).  That was filed in 2006.  Given general US patent laws as described in Wikipedia here, we have 20 years on the patent.  We're looking at 2026.

Something else to consider, though, is that the C-trap wasn't filed until 2008 in the U.S. and an Orbitrap doesn't work without one of those. Its also good to keep in mind that there a multiple patents detailing improvements to the Orbitrap.  So..even if the patent for the original device was up tomorrow you could probably only start building something like the Discovery in your basement!

P.S.This is the number of pages Google Scholar currently has for Dr. Makarov's patents....


  1. Mind you that Orbitrap itself is very hard to produce. I believe the production itself took years to master which will also give the leader a head start over competition.

    1. Well, not really, because any competitor can start working up production as of today, plus they now have the original as a model. They don't have to wait until the patent expires before developing their version of the Orbitrap, and I'm sure they won't.

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  3. Was wondering this same exact question and the first google hit was this blog post. But then I found this patent: that was filed in 1996. That looks like an orbitrap does it not? Which also means that the patent expires this year?

  4. This 1996 patent shows certain flaws that may readily be improved.
    Most obvious being the "field generation arrangement 13 is disposed within the confines of inner cylinder electrode 22 ... "
    must be corrected to "deposed" or he has invented a fancy garbage bin.
    Other gross errors revolve around undefined "electrodes" ..

    A decision to research electron microscopy leads one into wave fields & thus multiple plane waves in the momentum (Fourier) domain. Interference
    of more than 2 wavefronts lead to spin polarised phase conjugations that provide infinitely more lucid information than available from an ionic TOF instrument that cannot determine vanishing amplitude dimension nor the vortex fields around phase singularities.

    It becomes a challenge to devise methods of transducing the signals into interpreted results, for my money even novel art in selective tearing molecules (with controlled energy) apart prior to launching into an ionized TOF gas stream seems primitive. M/z is an overrated legacy, surviving only on the back of huge reference databases that have been painstakenly collected from as far back as the outdated column elution practice. Mass /charge is a fundamental concept using an elaborate method to integrate flight paths of known standards from which database, unknown samples may be extrapolated.