In reference to the patent: WO2017151684A1 (Patent 1)

I think that it follows the same process as described by patent US5854056A (Patent 2) from 1997 and titled Fungal cell wall production and utilization as a raw resource for textiles by William J. A. Dschida

The only difference is a tricky use of the language by patent 1, instead of using the definition hyphae as patent 2 for branching filaments of fungal cells in liquid media, patent 1 calls them planktonic cells. The downstream process is exactly the same; inoculation of this liquid culture into fresh growth media and incubating it undisturbed to form a biomat.

The only difference is that patent 1 applies to edible fungal biomats and patent 2 to textile applications once the biomat is dried and cured.

1 Answer 1


First thing to understand is that WO2017151684A1 is only a patent application. It is not a patent. It may or may not get granted and even if it does get granted it is likely that the claims will be amended. That said, my cursory review of the application suggests that US5854056A is indeed prior art and should be considered by the European patent authorities. WO2017151684A1 doesn't cite it but one hopes the examiner will find it. I believe the process for making WIPO aware of prior art is called a "Third Party Observation". The particulars are described in this WIPO page. According to that page:

Third party observations may be submitted at any time after the date of publication of the international application and before the expiration of 28 months from the priority date, provided that the application is not withdrawn or considered withdrawn.

The priority date for the application is 2016-03-01 so it might be too late.

One thing to consider, is that US5854056A has expired so while it may preclude WO2017151684A1 from being granted, the invention as described can be used by anyone.

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