Carl Zeiss has announced that the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Dr Eric Betzig and Dr Harald Hess an additional patent for their invention of super-resolution localisation microscopy.
In 2007, Carl Zeiss received the exclusive rights to market this technology.
US Patent 7,864,314, published on 4 January 2011, expands the patent protection to systems and methods utilising separation by photo-optical transformation of molecules between different energy states.
For example, only a few molecules can be activated from a dark state and then localised, or almost all molecules can be transformed into a dark state and the few remaining ones are localised.
Together with the previously issued patents (US 7,626,694; US 7,828,695; US 7,626,703 and US 7,782,457), substantial systems and methods of super-resolution microscopy are now protected.
These methods are based on the separation and localisation of molecules to achieve resolution beyond the Abbe resolution limit.
This technology expands the ways in which classical dyes can be used for applications in super-resolution microscopy.