Category Archives: Gene Patents

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Why The Federal Circuit Revisited Written Description

In Stanford University v. The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Fed Cir. No 2015-2011, June 27, 2017), the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded interference decisions on the ground the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) applied the incorrect standard in determining whether a patent specification satisfies the written description requirement. The decision is interesting because it … Continue reading this entry

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

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

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

3 Pressing Challenges for Personalized Medicine

Personalized medicine can be described as the science of targeted therapies. Advances in diagnostic and molecular medicine have made it possible to more precisely identify alternative treatment options for patients based on their unique genetic or clinical profiles. According to an article published by the FDA in the spring of 2015 (FDA Continues to Lead … Continue reading this entry

Patent Subject Matter Eligibility – Impact on Litigation and Prosecution

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

An Early Test for the USPTO’S Eligibility Analysis

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

Canada Joins the Gene Patenting Debate

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

Myriad’s Continuing Patent Debate

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Human Genes" and Patents

At 10:00 A.M. on April 15th, the U.S. Supreme Court will entertain oral arguments in the dispute now known as the human “gene patenting” case. The Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., No. 12-398 (2013) is likely the highest profile patent dispute before the Supreme Court in recent history, arguably because it touches on issues concerning invention, innovation, investment, … Continue reading this entry

Australian "Gene Patenting" Case to be Appealed

The patenting of human genes in Australia remains under court review. As reported in the blog Patentology, an appeal of the Australian decision, Cancer Voices et al. v. Myriad Genetics Inc. et al., was filed on March 4, 2013 to a Full Bench of the Federal Court of Australia by the law firm of Maurice … Continue reading this entry

Myriad Posts Gene Patenting Victory in Australia

In a companion case to the “gene patenting” dispute presently before the U.S. Supreme Court, Myriad Genetics, Inc. successfully defended the patent-eligibility of “gene patents” in Australia. In Cancer Voices et al. v. Myriad Genetics Inc. et al. [Myriad] the Federal Court of Australia held that a claim that covers an isolated naturally occurring nucleic acid – … 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

Video Interview: Discussing Myriad & the Supreme Court with LXBN TV

Following up on my post examining the Myriad gene patenting case, which is heading to the Supreme Court, I had the chance to discuss the subject with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN. In the interview, I discuss the legal and commercial issues at the core of the controversy, and whether or not genes are indeed patented.  … 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

Myriad Responds: ACLU Asks The Wrong Question

On October 31, 2012, Myriad Genetics, Inc. et al. (“Respondent” or “Myriad”) filed its brief in opposition to Petitioners’ (The Association for Molecular Pathology et al., represented by the American Civil Liberties Union or “ACLU”) quest for U.S. Supreme Court review in the ongoing legal battle over whether isolated DNA is patent-eligible subject matter. Myriad argued that U.S. Supreme Court … Continue reading this entry

Genetic Data, Patents, and Trade Secrets

Patents protect proprietary information but are of limited duration. After expiration, the patented technology becomes part of the public domain. Trade secrets, in contrast, never expire and therefore are not accessible to the public as long as the information remains secret. Thus, the authors of “The Next Controversy in Genetic Testing: Clinical Data as Trade Secrets?”  … Continue reading this entry