DNA Genotek: Sampling made simple

When a renowned magazine like Time compares your company's inventiveness to what Google did for web searches, you know you're in business.

Based in Ottawa, DNA Genotek makes it possible for healthcare workers, researchers and vendors to collect high-quality DNA samples from donors in any setting, whether they're in the clinic, in the field or in the comfort of their homes.

The company's flagship product, OrageneMD, revolutionized the DNA sample collection market, thanks to its non-invasive process and capacity to store samples at room temperature. As Time Magazine puts it, "A little Canadian company has done for DNA collection what Google did for web searches: made it ridiculously simple and efficient."

To explain how it's done, let's take a look at the OrageneMD product, which consists of a laboratory tube with a funnel attachment. After delivering saliva into the device, the donor closes the cap of the container, which holds a stabilizing solution. The film keeping the solution away from the donor's mouth is then torn by a piercing mechanism in the funnel, and the solution is released to mix with the sample to stabilize the DNA. A small cap is placed on the tube, and the sample is sent to the lab for processing. It's that simple!

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With these impressive innovations, DNA Genotek's products enable scientific discoveries that can lead to clinical testing applications, screening and treatment of individuals around the globe. Its technology is currently used in more than 100 countries by more than 6,000 customers.

"Having a strong global IP strategy promotes innovation and investment. IP is one of the fundamental pillars to building sustainable value within your product portfolio."

Brian Smith, Executive Vice President, Business Unit Leader, Molecular Solutions

The importance of intellectual property (IP) has been embedded in DNA Genotek's culture since day one. The company's innovations are covered by layers of IP, including patents, industrial designs, trademarks and copyrights.

Whenever possible, both the stabilizing chemistry and the physical design are protected, and most of the products are covered by more than one type of IP. In fact, senior management regularly communicates to its employees the value of IP and its role in the company's continued success. And because DNA Genotek markets its products worldwide, it files both patents and industrial designs on a broad international scale: A savvy way of protecting their investment in innovation!

With Canada's accession to the Hague Agreement, Canadian businesses like DNA Genotek will now have access to a simpler, faster and more effective way to register and protect their industrial designs around the world through a single system managed by the World Intellectual Property Organization. The Hague Agreement allows applicants from member countries to register up to 100 industrial designs in multiple jurisdictions using a single application, language and currency.

Are you inspired to protect your products and ideas? Visit the IP for business page on how to develop an IP strategy for success.