Category Archives: Diagnostic Methods

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One is Not Enough – Infringement Liability under § 271(f)(1)

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In Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp., Slip Op. 14-1538 (Feb. 22, 2017), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the supply of a single component of a multicomponent invention for manufacture abroad does not give rise to liability under 35 U.S.C. § 271(f)(1). The Court’s decision is important for manufacturers of kit components and those that … Continue reading this entry

FEDERAL CIRCUIT KNOCKS OUT PATENTS AFTER CBM CHALLENGE

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Guest Post by Jocelyn Yu, Foley & Lardner, LLP. Apple successfully invalidated three patents for failure to recite patent eligible subject matter. Apple, Inc. v. Ameranth, Inc., 2015-1792, 2015-1793 (Fed. Cir. 2016). The patents relate to synchronous communication systems for electronically generating and transmitting menu selections. While the covered technology is not directly related to … Continue reading this entry

Ariosa Loses Verinata Patent Challenge

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Fetal diagnostic pioneer Ariosa Diagnostics lost its latest attempt to invalidate competitor Verinata Health’s U.S. Patent No. 8,318,430, “Methods of Fetal Abnormality Detection.” The USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) concluded that Petitioner Ariosa Diagnostics (Ariosa) failed to demonstrate the unpatentability of challenged claims 1-30. Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. v. Verinata Health, Inc., IPR2013-0027/-00277 (PTAB … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Declines Sequenom Review

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Last week the United States Supreme Court denied Sequenom’s petition to review the Federal Circuit’s holding in Sequenom Inc. v. Ariosa Diagnostic Inc., 788 F.3d 1371 (2015) that claims directed to detecting fetal DNA in maternal blood were invalid for failing to recite patent eligible subject matter. Therefore by default, the Court let stand the … Continue reading this entry

Will the Supreme Court Clarify Patent-Eligibility?

The United States Supreme Court is set to render its decision on the grant or denial of Sequenom, Inc.’s (“Sequenom’s”) petition for writ of certiorari that posed the issue: Whether a novel method is patent-eligible where: (1) a researcher is the first to discover a natural phenomenon; (2) that unique knowledge motivates him to apply … Continue reading this entry

USPTO RELEASES PATENT ELIGIBILITY UPDATE

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On May 4, 2016, the USPTO released a “May 2016 Subject Matter Eligibility Update” (“Update”) providing guidance to patent examiners on formulating a subject matter eligibility rejection and evaluating an applicant’s response to that rejection. The USPTO concurrently released new life science examples to assist examiners and applicants evaluate whether claimed discoveries satisfy 35 U.S.C. … Continue reading this entry

ANOTHER DIAGNOSTIC PATENT FALLS UNDER 101

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In Genetic Techs Ltd v Merial LLC (Fed. Cir., April 8, 2016), the Federal Circuit invalidated yet another diagnostic patent for failing to satisfy 35 U.S.C. § 101 on the ground that the claims recite nothing more than a law of nature. The claim’s recitation of the term “to detect the allele” was insufficient to … Continue reading this entry

Navigating the Diagnostic Commercialization Process

Guest Post By: Perry Dimas, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Premier Source, part of AmerisourceBergen The 2015 Business of Personalized Medicine Summit was an inspiring day with talented professionals. One key takeaway was that while diagnostics hold the promise of getting the right medicine to the right patient at the right time, much … Continue reading this entry

Patent Subject Matter Eligibility – Impact on Litigation and Prosecution

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Personalized medicine relies on diagnostic technologies to accurately evaluate a patient’s clinical or genetic signature to guide treatment decisions. Protecting innovation by patenting the diagnostic methods and tools that inform clinical intervention and treatment has been the traditional means to protect investment in these important technologies. Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have challenged inventors’ ability … Continue reading this entry

Breaking Through to Business Solutions for Personalized Medicine: A Thought-Provoking, Can’t-Miss Industry Event

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Just as with patient treatments, one size does not fit all when it comes to companies involved in personalized medicine. Each is unique in its mission, culture, and capabilities, so it should come as no surprise that each demands a distinct business strategy that can evolve alongside the industry. The annual Business of Personalized Medicine … Continue reading this entry

Protecting Diagnostic Innovation – Two Actor Infringement Liability

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In Akamai Techs. Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc., (August 13, 2015 Fed. Cir.) an en banc Federal Circuit unanimously held that direct infringement under Section 271(a) can occur: ”where all steps of a claimed method are performed by or attributed to a single entity…Where more than one actor is involved in practicing the steps, a … Continue reading this entry

Federal Circuit Invalidates Another Diagnostic Patent

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In Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc., Slip Op. 2014-1139, 2014-114 (Fed. Cir. June 12, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that Sequenom’s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (the ‘540 Patent) was invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101, for failing to claim patent-eligible subject matter. The Court’s decision is yet another application … Continue reading this entry

An Early Test for the USPTO’S Eligibility Analysis

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Just last week, the USPTO released its revised subject matter eligibility guidance (2014 Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility “Interim Guidance” reviewed in my prior post of December 16th, 2014). The Interim Guidance replaced the March 2014 Guidance that was much-criticized for its expansive application of U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence relating to the judicial … Continue reading this entry

Fetal Diagnostics Patent Claims Fall in Inter Partes Review

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Post grant inter partes review proceedings have lowered the hurdle to invalidate U.S. patents. The “broadest reasonable construction” of the claims and the lower burden to prove invalidity (by a preponderance of the evidence) of inter partes review proceedings have resulted in many successful challenges. Indeed, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the … 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

Considering Sex-Specific Variation for Personalized Medicine

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Personalized medicine may use devices and assays that identify sex-related differences. For example, a device or an assay may determine if a cancer patient harboring a particular genetic variance will or will not respond to a particular cancer therapy. In some instances, the prediction of clinical outcome is related not only to the genetic variance … Continue reading this entry

Regulating Point of Care Diagnostics

Personalized medicine relies on diagnostic medicine to identify the best therapy for the patient at the right time. Tests that match a therapy to the patient fall into one of two categories. In vitro diagnostic devices or IVDs are diagnostic tests developed and manufactured by device manufacturers. In the United States, IVDs are regulated by … 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

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

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

Expanding Access to, and Development of, Personalized Medicine

In a July 8th, 2013 letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) advised that proposed reimbursement schedules for diagnostic medicine will  threaten the development of, and access to, personalized medicine and reduce the quality of patient care.… Continue reading this entry

FDA’s Plan to Regulate LDTs

Guest Post By David L. Rosen, Nathan A. Beaver and Jennifer M. Forde   In a remarkable move, the Food and Drug Administration recently indicated that it plans to take new steps to regulate laboratory-developed tests (“LDTs”). FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg made the significant announcement during a speech on June 2, 2013, at an annual meeting of … Continue reading this entry

FDA Regulation of Laboratory Developed Tests: Benefit or Unnecessary Burden?

The U.S. Department of Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has previously announced an interest in regulating diagnostic tests used in providing personalized medicine clinical care. Interested stakeholders such as the American Clinical Laboratory Association, the College of American Pathologists, and the Association for Molecular Pathology, have weighed in on whether the FDA can and should … Continue reading this entry

Are Human Genes Patentable?

As reported in my November 30th, 2012 post, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review the issue “are human genes patentable?” The issue arises from the long-running dispute among a consortium of plaintiffs, led by the American Civil Liberties Union (collectively “ACLU”) who sued Myriad Genetics, Inc. and the Directors of the University of … Continue reading this entry