Tag Archives: 35 U.S.C. 101

USPTO Releases Revised Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance

PatentEligibility
On December 15th, 2014, the USPTO released its much anticipated revised subject matter eligibility examination guidance to assist patent examiners evaluate inventions that may be related to any one of the three judicial exceptions to subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 – law of nature, natural phenomena, and/or an abstract idea. 2014 Interim … Continue reading this entry

Canada Joins the Gene Patenting Debate

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Canada has joined the gene patenting debate. Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (“Children’s”) sued the University of Utah Research Foundation, Genzyme Genetics, and Yale University (“Defendants”) in Canada’s Federal Court asserting that 5 patents[1] assigned to Defendants (collectively the “Long QT Patents”) for compositions and methods useful in the diagnosis and/or assessment of Long QT syndrome … Continue reading this entry

Federal Circuit’s Post-Alice Eligibility Analysis of Business Methods

PatentEligibility
The Federal Circuit in Ultramercial, Inc. v. WildTangent, Inc., held that an “entrepreneurial” multi-step process for distributing copyrighted media products over the Internet to consumers is not patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 even though the specific method of advertising and content distribution was neither previously known nor employed on the Internet. Although the patent … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Asked to Review Standing in Stem Cell Challenge

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The Public Patent Foundation and Consumer Watchdog (collectively “CW”) petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on October 31, 2014, seeking reversal of the Federal Circuit’s dismissal of its appeal from a decision of the USPTO that upheld the validity of Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation’s (WARF’s) patent regarding in vitro cultured human embryonic stem cells. The case … Continue reading this entry

Myriad’s Continuing Patent Debate

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On October 6, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit entertained oral argument in the interlocutory appeal of the district court’s denial of Myriad’s motion for preliminary injunction against Ambry Genetics. In re BRCA1- and BRCA2- Based Hereditary Cancer Test Patent Litigation, Case Nos. 14-1361, -1366. If you missed oral argument, the … Continue reading this entry

Myriad Set for Another Round

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On Monday, October 6th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will entertain oral argument in another case involving Myriad’s BRCA1/BRCA2 diagnostic tests. In re BRCA1- and BRCA2- Based Hereditary Cancer Test Patent Litigation, Case Nos. 14-1361, -1366. In the words of Myriad “[t]his appeal … presents this Court with one of the … Continue reading this entry

Federal Circuit Frames Test for Patent-Eligibility

PatentEligibility
Personalized medicine relies on diagnostics to analyze a patient for individualized therapy and for monitoring a patient’s health status. Some diagnostic tests use natural products, for example gene sequences, either as the target of the diagnostic test or as a tool to identify a genetic trait or anomaly. Personalized medicine also may rely on the … Continue reading this entry

Will the USPTO Respond to Public Feedback of Its Eligibility Guidance?

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Periodically, the USPTO holds open meetings with the public to discuss its thinking on current topics relating to the patent procurement process. Late last week, the Biotechnology, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Customer Partnership of the USPTO announced the first bi-coastal meeting to be held via webcast in Washington, D.C. and San Jose, California on September 17th, 2014. … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Extends Deadline to Comment on Subject Matter Eligibility Analysis

PatentEligibility
Yesterday at BIO’s session entitled “Patent-Eligibility from the Trenches: Practical Implications of the Supreme Court’s Prometheus (Mayo) and Myriad Decisions” a panel of experts and an engaged audience discussed the controversial USPTO “Guidance for Determining Subject Matter Eligibility of Claims Reciting Or Involving Laws of Nature, Natural Phenomena, & Natural Products” (2014 Guidance) and its implications for … Continue reading this entry

Federal Circuit Dismisses WARF Stem Cell Case – A Missed Opportunity

Recently in Consumer Watchdog v. Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, No. 2013-1377 (Fed. Cir. 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit) dismissed Appellant Consumer Watchdog’s appeal on the ground that as a party, it lacked Article III standing. While the court’s decision raises interesting issues regarding litigation strategy, dismissal of the appeal … Continue reading this entry

Federal Circuit Adds to Section 101 Jurisprudence

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, relying on U.S. Supreme Court patent-eligibility precedent, held that a claim to a live-born clone of a pre-existing, non-embryonic, donor mammal is not patent-eligible. The Court reasoned that because the clone is genetically identical to its donor parent, it is not markedly different from that found in nature and … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Issues Guidance for Examining Process Patents

On March 4th, 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued “2014 Procedures For Subject Matter Eligibility Analysis Of Claims Reciting Or Involving Laws of Nature/Natural Principles, Natural Phenomena, And/Or Natural Products” Guidance, advising examiners and the public of the factors for determining whether an invention satisfies the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of 35 U.S.C. §101, as … Continue reading this entry

USPTO to Apply Myriad Beyond Isolated DNA

On March 4th, 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”)  issued a Guidance, advising examiners and the public of the factors for determining whether an invention satisfies the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of 35 U.S.C. §101, as applied to patent-eligibility. See Assn. for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. __, 133 S. … Continue reading this entry

Computer-Aided Selection Method Fails Patent-Eligibility

In SmartGene, Inc. v. Advanced Biological Labs., S.A., No. 2013-1186 (Fed. Cir., Jan. 24, 2014), the Federal Circuit held that a patent claiming the use of a computer to implement routine mental information-comparison and rule-application processes to select a treatment for a patient fails patent-eligibility because the claims are directed to an abstract idea. The … Continue reading this entry

U.S. Government and USPTO Urges Federal Circuit to Dismiss Stem Cell Appeal

On January 17, 2014, the United States government and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (collectively “the government”) responded to the Federal Circuit’s December 4, 2013 order inviting them to address whether Consumer Watchdog (“CW”) has Article III standing to pursue its appeal of the USPTO’s affirmation of the patentability of Wisconsin Alumni Research … Continue reading this entry

United States and PTO Invited to Stem Cell Party

Last week Consumer Watchdog (“CW”) and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (“WARF”) squared off at the Federal Circuit over CW’s appeal of the  inter partes reexamination of WARF’s U.S. Patent No.  7,029,913 (the ’913 Patent, entitled “Primate Embryonic Stem Cells”). Consumer Watchdog v. Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, No. 13-1377 (Fed. Cir. 2013).  CW’s appeal challenges the patent-eligibility of in vitro cultured human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) … Continue reading this entry

WARF Could Avoid Federal Circuit Review

On November 25, 2013, Consumer Watchdog (“CW”) and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (“WARF”) responded to the Federal Circuit’s Order directing each party to brief whether CW, as a third party requester, has standing to appeal the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO’s”) decision in the inter partes reexamination of WARF’s U.S. Patent No.  7,029,913 (the ’913 Patent, … Continue reading this entry

California Court Holds Diagnostic Claims Not Patent-Eligible

In one of the first district court decisions applying the U.S. Supreme Court’s new Myriad patent-eligibility standard, the Northern District of California held that diagnostic claims containing only conventional and existing detection steps do not make the use of a natural phenomenon patent-eligible. See Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc., v. Sequenom, Inc., No. C 11-06391 SI (N.D. … Continue reading this entry

Patent-Eligibility of hESC Challenged

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that isolated, naturally-occurring genes are not patent-eligible (see, Ass’n. for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. __ (2013))(“Myriad”), Consumer Watchdog (“CW”, formerly known as The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a self-described public charity dedicated to provide a voice for taxpayers and consumers) has … Continue reading this entry

Isolated DNA Is Not Patent-Eligible

Today the U.S. Supreme Court in Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., __ U.S. __ (2013) (opinion here), held that genes and DNA fragments merely isolated from nature without alteration are not patent-eligible. Justice Thomas, who delivered the opinion of the Court, stated that claims to isolated DNA (in this case, isolated BRCA1 and BRCA2 … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Asked for Further Clarity on Patent-Eligibility of Diagnostic Claims

Did the Federal Circuit incorrectly interpret and apply the holding of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision regarding patent-eligibility of medical methods as set forth in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., 132 S.Ct. 1289 (2012)(“Mayo“)? Intema Ltd. (“Intema”) asserts that yes, the Federal Circuit did err when it determined that Intema’s diagnostic patent claims are invalid for failing to … Continue reading this entry

Video Interview: Discussing the Supreme Court's Oral Arguments in Myriad Gene Patenting Case

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to speak again with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN regarding last week’s oral arguments in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics. In the interview, I share some quick observations on the oral arguments and offer my thoughts why I believe the Justices will “split the baby” with their ruling.… Continue reading this entry

Personalized Medicine and the Gene Patenting Debate

The transcript for today’s Supreme Court oral argument in The Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., No. 12-398 (2013) has been released, and the importance of the gene patenting debate to personalized medicine was discussed. The Court was well briefed on the issues and questioned the parties and U.S. government regarding why isolated genes should or should not be patent-eligible, the … Continue reading this entry

Petitioners File Supreme Court "Gene Patenting" Brief

Petitioners (The Association for Molecular Pathology et al., represented by the American Civil Liberties Union or ”Petitioner” or “ACLU”) filed their brief with the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday urging the Court to reverse the Federal Circuit’s decision and the USPTO’s decades long practice of granting patents on isolated DNA. Similar to their arguments in all prior … Continue reading this entry