Today was a big day for patents. Gene patents, to be exact. The Supreme Court remanded the Myriad Genetics case earlier this year, and this morning the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on the matter.
At the center of the case is the concept that laws of nature are not patentable.
We talked about the patentability of business methods last week. In fact, we talked about it twice.
That's because the patentability of business methods was closely linked to the current case. Essentially, business methods, laws of nature and observations aren't patentable. The idea is that abstract ideas can't be patented.
The rationale in the Myriad case stems from the Mayo v. Prometheus case, which has been a giant in the world of patent law.
But the Prometheus case and the Myriad case are slightly different. The Prometheus case looked at a method patent whereas Myriad focuses on a compositional patent, explains Forbes.
Myriad focused its argument on whether isolated DNA molecules can be patented. In its supplemental brief filed with the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, Myriad raised the distinction between its case and the Prometheus case, saying that Prometheus should have little bearing on Myriad's patent.
In fact, Myriad raised a different standard for the review of the patent, claiming Diamond v. Chakrabarty is the appropriate case to use when addressing the composition of matter.
The oral arguments for the case are available here on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals website. For a background on the case, read the Supreme Court's decision in Prometheus and our analysis of that case in earlier blog posts.
- Myriad's Medical Patent Case Sent Back After Prometheus Decision (FindLaw's Federal Circuit Blog)
- Browse Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Cases (FindLaw Caselaw)
- Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (US Courts)