Loren Donald Pearson

Loren Donald Pearson is a Registered Patent Attorney and a Florida Bar Board Certified Intellectual Property Attorney.  He is a partner at Assouline & Berlowe, PA and leads its intellectual property group.  Read his profile

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Supreme Court Rules DNA Not Patentable Subject Matter: Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad

The U.S. Supreme Court in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad held unanimously (9-0) that isolated DNA is not patentable subject matter and cDNA is patentable. 

The NY Times cover article explains some broader significance.  The times believes that this will make additional genetic tests immediately more available and less expensive.  As mentioned in an article by The Nation, "Myriad’s attorney argued that invalidating the patent would limit the incentive for future investments in biotechnology."

PBS NewsHour gave an interesting video review including Former USPTO Commissioner Q. Todd Dickinson (not my favorite commissioner) and an Sandra Park giving the ACLU comments

Patently-O posted its usual good legal commentary on the opinion and separately on Scalia's concurrence.

I am trying to get some comments from the non-legal field on the case.

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Reader Comments (2)

This case is a good example of a non-patentable law of nature (DNA claims) versus an application of the law (cDNA). Reviewing the subject patent claims puts the Court’s holding in context. See, http://www.google.com/patents/US5747282; http://www.google.com/patents/US5693473; and, http://www.google.com/patents/US5837492.

The bottom line is that patent claims should be directed at novel: machines; methods of manufacture; processes; or, compositions of matter -- Not the mere underlying discovery of a principal of nature.

June 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeter A. Koziol

Myriad claims invalidating the patent will inhibit future investments in biotechnology. However, Myriad still owns IP on other aspects of their research regarding the BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genes. The Supreme Court merely reiterated an established principle of patent law that “laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas” are basic scientific tools and, therefore, not eligible for patent protection. This decision will have minor, if any, impact on innovation in biotechnology.

June 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGreg M. Popowitz

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