All Claims Rejected for University of Maryland, Baltimore US Patent Application Describing Psilocybin and Ketanserin or Ritanserin to treat depression

USPTO directly cites prior art included in Porta Sophia's third-party preissuance submission in establishing application's lack of novelty and non-obviousness

MADISON, WI USA (March 10, 2023) The University of Maryland, Baltimore has today received a non-final rejection from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for U.S. Pat. App. Ser. No. 17/940,950 entitled “Methods of Treating Psychological and Brain Disorders”. On February 17, 2023, Porta Sophia filed a third-party preissuance submission that challenged the patentability of the application's claims on the grounds that the claims lack novelty and are obvious to someone skilled in the art.

Porta Sophia, a non-profit psychedelic prior art library, leverages the experience of legal and interdisciplinary academic scholars to promote an ethical psychedelic patenting landscape that preserves the integrity of the public domain. The organization curates and makes readily available relevant historical documentation for patent examiners, innovators, and the public alike to explore the scope of psychedelic technologies.

Patent application: Serotonin agonist and serotonin receptor 2A antagonist to treat depression

The ’950 application was filed on September 8, 2022 and claims priority to a provisional application filed on August 13, 2019. It describes the use of a combination of a serotonin agonist, preferably psilocybin, and a serotonin receptor 2A antagonist, preferably ketanserin or ritanserin, to treat multiple types of depression.

In the USPTO’s notice of non-final rejection, all claims under examination were rejected. The examiner cited prior art presented in Porta Sophia’s third-party preissuance submission as grounds for rejection. Specifically mentioned was an international patent publication (WO2019/081764) that teaches a combination of psilocybin and a serotonin 2A receptor antagonist, namely ketanserin. This document is available in the Porta Sophia psychedelic prior art library.

Third-party submissions of prior art

The America Invents Act allows third parties to submit prior art and concise descriptions of their relevance to the USPTO. Documents submitted may be considered in the examination of that patent application. In addition, these submissions have a broad impact because applicants have a duty to disclose the prior art submitted against a single patent application for other relevant patent applications filed by the applicant.

Porta Sophia tracks and analyzes psychedelic patent applications globally. If an application improperly claims innovation of something known in the public domain and meets the standards of Porta Sophia's third party intervention evaluation criteria, the team assembles evidence against these invalid claims and contests them directly to the relevant patent office through third-party interventions.

Learn about the status and impact of Porta Sophia's third party submissions and observations.

View Our Summary Chart

About Porta Sophia

Porta Sophia, meaning doorway to wisdom, is a non-profit psychedelic prior art library created to support good patents in the field of psychedelics. Based in Madison, Wisconsin USA, Porta Sophia identifies scientific, historical and cultural prior art in common and uncommon spaces and brings it together in one simple search tool for innovators and patent reviewers. The organization's mission is to protect the public domain, stimulate innovation, and support good patents to assure psychedelic therapies can one day be available at scale to the people who need them.

Porta Sophia works to support equity in the psychedelic field. The organization facilitates community engagement through encouraging submissions of prior art from the public and organizing an interdisciplinary Archival Researcher Network (ARN) to ensure quality psychedelic prior art is readily available to patent applicants, examiners, and those interested in psychedelic research.

To learn more about Porta Sophia's patent and prior art workflow or get involved, visit