application and includes claims to one or more oligonucleotides that are 18 nucleotides in length, and methods of use for treating dermal and other disorders. We have the option of pursuing patent protection for this pending PCT application in the U.S. and elsewhere. Any patents that may issue from this application would expire by 2037. The expiration date does not take into consideration any potential patent term adjustment that may be applied by the U.S. Patent Office upon issuance of the patent, any terminal disclaimers that may be filed in the future or any regulatory extensions that may be obtained.
Upon receiving FDA approval for AST-005, XCUR17 or AST-008, we intend to list applicable patents in the FDA’s Orange Book.
Patent life determination depends on the date of filing of the application and other factors as promulgated under the patent laws. In most countries, including the United States, the patent term is generally 20 years from the earliest claimed filing date of a non-provisional patent application in the applicable country.
Trade Secret and Other Protection
In addition to patented intellectual property, we also rely on trade secrets and proprietary know-how to protect our technology, especially when we do not believe that patent protection is appropriate or can be obtained. It is our policy to require our employees and consultants, outside scientific collaborators, sponsored researchers and other advisors who receive confidential information from us to execute confidentiality agreements upon the commencement of employment or consulting relationships. These agreements provide that all confidential information developed or made known to these individuals during the course of the individual’s relationship with the company is to be kept confidential and is not to be disclosed to third parties except in specific circumstances. The agreements provide that all inventions conceived by an employee shall be the property of our Company. There can be no assurance, however, that these agreements will provide meaningful protection or adequate remedies for our trade secrets in the event of unauthorized use or disclosure of such information.
Other Intellectual Property Rights
We seek trademark protection in the United States when appropriate. We have filed for trademark protection for the following marks: LIFE HAPPENS IN 3D, LIFE IN 3D, and EXICURE. We currently have one registered trademark, EXICURE.
From time to time, we may find it necessary or prudent to obtain licenses from third party intellectual property holders.
Northwestern University License Agreements
In September 2009, Northwestern University and AuraSense LLC, or ASLLC, one of our significant stockholders, entered into a license agreement under which Northwestern University granted ASLLC an exclusive, worldwide license under certain Northwestern University patents and patent applications to exploit products and processes in the field of the use of nanoparticles, nanotechnology, microtechnology or nanomaterial-based constructs as or accompanying therapeutics or theradiagonostics and in or for intracellular diagnostic applications and intracellular research. On December 12, 2011, ASLLC assigned to us all of its worldwide rights and interests under the Northwestern University-ASLLC license in the field of the use of nanoparticles, nanotechnology, microtechnology or nanomaterial-based constructs as therapeutics or accompanying therapeutics as a means of delivery, but expressly excluding diagnostics (the “assigned field”). In accordance with the terms and conditions of this assignment, we assumed all liabilities and obligations of ASLLC to Northwestern University as set forth in its license agreement in the assigned field and in August 2015 we entered into a restated license agreement with Northwestern University. In February 2016, we obtained exclusive license as to Northwestern University’s rights in certain SNA technology we jointly own with Northwestern University. Our license to Northwestern University’s rights is limited to the assigned field, however we have no such limitation as to our own rights in this jointly owned technology. In June 2016, we entered into an exclusive license with Northwestern University to obtain worldwide rights to certain inhibitors of glucosylceramide synthase and their use in wound healing in diabetes. Our rights and