patenting Remilk's alternative-protein dairy
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To Boldly Go — Where We’ve Been Before

Eran Noah Ph.D
Remilk’s Director of Intellectual Property
Aug 30, 2021

By Eran Noah Ph.D, Remilk’s Director of Intellectual Property

What does the word “patent” mean to you?

Most people associate “patents” with terms like “new”, “science”, and “invention”, and they are right. Most of the time 😊

That’s why associating “patents” with “Milk” or “Cheese” seems a bit weird. What’s “new” about Milk? We’ve been drinking the same white stuff since mammoths roamed the Earth. And where’s the “Science” in Cheese?

It’s clear no one is going to get a patent for the yellow rectangle in your grilled-cheese sandwich. Or for the bread. Or for the toaster.

But…

What if I told you I have found, deep in the jungle, an unknown living creature, which makes milk that is identical to the milk you know and love. Could that creature be declared new, and then patented? What if I told you that animal makes its milk out of, let’s say, pink kryptonite? Could that milk be patented as a new beverage, though indistinguishable from your ordinary milk?

Interesting questions, ha?

What we at Remilk are doing on a day-to-day basis, is exploring and experimenting, finding new and exciting ways to produce the milk you know, only from organisms that don’t go “Moo”.

You could think of this process as using your favorite navigation app to find your way home. Obviously, you know your destination very well, and know exactly what it looks like. However, you don’t know the best way to get from the new place you’re at, to your destination. Your app figures out the quickest, most efficient way to get you home and into your pajamas. That’s what we do here: find new ways to get to that familiar destination, dairy. Remilk works at finding the way. The best way.

Obviously, nothing ever goes as planned. It turns out some animals don’t produce milk, no matter how nicely you ask them to. Others just don’t stand still long enough for you to milk them.

But sometimes … sometimes … that magic happens. You find a new way to reach that familiar destination, you get to add a new piece, your piece, to the age-old puzzle. When you do, congrats are in order. You have become an inventor!

In a way, as far as patenting goes, our industry’s great success has become its main challenge. The dairy we produce is so indistinguishable from its original counterpart, that it isn’t considered “new” enough to be patented! So where does my job begin? Making cow milk using cows is nothing new. You know the cow, you know the milk. However, the process of crafting milk that’s identical to cow milk without using a cow, well, that IS new. New organisms, new “milking” techniques — that’s where dairy meets patents. We’ve found a new, innovative way that is way more efficient to create the coveted white liquid the world craves. Does it sound complicated? Relax, we’re taking care of it.

Heat up your toaster, our cheese is on its way!