Category Archives: Prometheus

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USPTO Issues New Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidelines

The USPTO has issued new patent subject matter eligibility guidelines to aid examiners in applying the principles of Myriad and Prometheus to any claim “reciting or involving laws of nature/natural principles, natural phenomena, and/or natural products.” The guidelines include a general framework for analyzing such claims for patent subject matter eligibility and examples applying the … Continue reading this entry

Do These Sequence Analysis Method Patents Satisfy Section 101?

According to an article on Law360, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is challenging the validity of two Genetic Technologies Ltd. patents on the basis that the claimed intron sequence analysis methods recite natural phenomena that do not satisfy the patent-eligibility requirements of 35 USC § 101. This case highlights some of the questions left unanswered by the Supreme Court … Continue reading this entry

Federal Circuit Remands Sequenom Down Syndrome Test Platform Patent For Consideration Under Myriad

In Aria Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc., the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the district court’s decision denying Sequenom’s motion for a preliminary injunction relating to a patent covering the non-invasive Sequenom Down Syndrome test. The Federal Circuit found that the district court had “incorrectly interpreted the asserted claims and improperly balanced factors regarding issuance … Continue reading this entry

An Update On Patenting Personalized Medicine After Prometheus

While the Supreme Court just granted certiorari in Myriad, case law surrounding the patent-eligibility of diagnostic and therapeutic personalized medicine has continued to develop in the wake of Mayo v. Prometheus. The good news for innovators is that the USPTO is still granting patents in the field of personalized medicine. The bad news is that … Continue reading this entry

Myriad Marches Towards The Supreme Court (Again)

The Association for Molecular Pathology (represented by the ACLU) has filed a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court, seeking review of the Federal Circuit’s August 16, 2012 decision that upheld the patent-eligibility of Myriad’s “isolated DNA” claims. The petition raises three questions for Supreme Court review: Are human genes patentable? Did the court of … Continue reading this entry

En Banc Federal Circuit Eases Requirements For Induced Infringement Of Method Claims

On August 31, 2012, the Federal Circuit issued an en banc, per curiam opinion deciding both Akamai Technologies, Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc. and McKesson Technologies, Inc. v. Epic Systems Corp., which each relate to the requirements for establishing infringement when all of the steps of a method claim are not performed by a single … Continue reading this entry

Myriad Oral Arguments: Deja Vu?

On Friday, July 20, 2012, the Federal Circuit heard oral arguments in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. (the ACLU “gene patenting”/BRCAI case), which is on remand in view of the Supreme Court decision in Mayo v. Prometheus. The courtroom was crowded again, but the mood seemed a bit lighter than the first oral … Continue reading this entry

USPTO Issues Prometheus Examination Guidelines

On July 3, 2012, the USPTO issued its 2012 Interim Procedure for Subject Matter Eligibility Analysis 0f Process Claims Involving Laws of Nature.  According to the introduction, the guidelines are “for use by USPTO personnel in determining subject matter eligibility of process claims involving laws of nature under 35 USC § 101,”  in view of … Continue reading this entry

What Do The IP Lawyers Have To Say In The Myriad Remand?

Several associations and organizations of intellectual property lawyers submitted amicus briefs in the Federal Circuit remand of Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. (the ACLU “gene patenting”/BRCA1 case). While many make the same arguments, there are some points that may stand out enough to get the court’s attention. (See this article for my … Continue reading this entry

The Myriad And ACLU Supplemental Briefs On Remand To The Federal Circuit

Myriad and the ACLU filed their supplemental briefs in the remand of Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. (the ACLU “gene patenting”/BRCA1 case), addressing the Federal Circuit’s question as to the applicability of the Supreme Court’s decision in Mayo Collaborative Servs. v. Prometheus Labs., Inc. to the patent eligibility of Myriad’s isolated DNA … Continue reading this entry

Eli Lilly Suggests Bright-Line Rule In Myriad Amicus Brief

Eli Lilly filed an interesting amicus brief in the remand of Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. (the ACLU “gene patenting”/BRCAI case). The Lilly brief focuses on claim 20 of Myriad’s U.S. Patent 5,747,282, and urges the Federal Circuit to adopt a bright-line rule that would hold any method claim that includes a step … Continue reading this entry

The United States Files Its Amicus Brief In Myriad

The briefs in the remand of Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. (the ACLU “gene patenting”/BRCAI case) were due last Friday, June 15, 2012. While the views of the parties and other amici may be of interest to the Federal Circuit, I am particularly interested in the position taken in the U.S. Department of … Continue reading this entry

Smoke Signals or Smokescreen: The Ultramercial GVR

After the Supreme Court decided that the personalized medicine method claims at issue in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. did not satisfy the patent eligibility requirements of 35 USC § 101, it was not surprising that the Court asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to take a second look … Continue reading this entry

Puzzled By Prometheus

Last Wednesday I attended an excellent roundtable on Prometheus hosted by The George Washington University Law School and The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). The roundtable was moderated by Hans Sauer of BIO and John M. Whealan of GW Law, and the panelists included The Honorable Paul R. Michel, intellectual property law professors, industry representatives, and practitioners (including my … Continue reading this entry

Federal Circuit Sets Briefing Deadline, Oral Argument Date For Myriad Isolated DNA Case

Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s March 26, 2012 order remanding Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. (the ACLU “gene patenting”/BRCAI case), the Federal Circuit has issued an order requesting supplemental briefing to be filed by June 15, 2012.  Biotechnology companies interested in the patent-eligibility of  newly discovered, biologically relevant DNA sequences (and other similar compounds) should … Continue reading this entry

Vlog: Why Prometheus Doesn't Govern Myriad But Might Impact It Anyway

I was honored to be invited by the Washington Legal Foundation to prepare a video commentary on the recent Supreme Court decision in Prometheus and its possible impact on the Myriad isolated DNA case for their Legally Brief series. Here’s what I had to say: WLF Legally Brief: Supreme Court Prometheus Patent Decision… Continue reading this entry

The USPTO Examines Prometheus

The day after the Supreme Court issued its unanimous decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., the USPTO issued a letter to the Patent Examining Corps that provides preliminary guidance to examiners and promises that more detailed guidance is forthcoming.… Continue reading this entry

My Myriad Nightmare

Now that the Supreme Court has issued its unanimous decision reversing the Federal Circuit decision in Prometheus, it is expected to decide the petition for certiorari in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. (the ACLU “gene patenting”/BRCAI case), as early as Monday (March 26). Many are predicting that the Court will issue a “GVR” to … Continue reading this entry

Justice Breyer Gets The Last Word And Invalidates Prometheus Personalized Medicine Claims

On March 20, 2012, Justice Breyer issued the unanimous decision for the Supreme Court in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., holding that Prometheus’ claims directed to methods of optimizing the dose of specific drugs used in the treatment of specific conditions are invalid under 35 USC § 101 because they impermissibly claim laws … Continue reading this entry

Who's On First? The Supreme Court Struggles With The Patent-Eligibility Of Personalized Medicine Claims

On December 7, 2011, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. While the issue before the Court is patent-eligibility under 35 USC § 101, the arguments veered into the topic of patentability under 35 USC §§ 102 and 103, whether the Court intended to raise that issue or … Continue reading this entry

Federal Circuit Issues Mixed Decision On Myriad Claims

On July 29, 2011, the Federal Circuit issued its decision in Association for Molecular Pathology v. USPTO, also known as the ACLU/Myriad “gene patenting” case. In a mixed decision, the court held that “isolated DNA” claims are patent-eligible under 35 USC § 101, but that the “comparing” or “analyzing” method claims are not. With a … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Grants Cert In Mayo v. Prometheus

Today (June 20, 2011), the Supreme Court granted Mayo’s petition for certiorari in Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Services, which means that the Supreme Court will review the Federal Circuit decision that upheld the patent-eligibility of Prometheus’ personalized medicine claims against a Bilski-type challenge. As I wrote last week, it will be interesting to see … Continue reading this entry

Mayo Petitions for Certiorari Against Prometheus

On March 17, 2011, Mayo Collaborative Services filed a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, challenging the Federal Circuit’s December 2010 decision in Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Services. Mayo asserts that the case raises the question “whether a patentee can monopolize basic, natural biological relationships,” and urges the Court to decide … Continue reading this entry

Cruisin' for a Bruisin' on Metabolite?

To many following the application of 35 U.S.C. § 101 to diagnostic and personalized medicine method claims, the Federal Circuit's decisions in Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Services seem to be at odds with Justice Breyer's dissent from the dismissal of the grant of certiorari in Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings v. Metabolite Laboratories, Inc. In both of its decisions (before and after Bilski), the Federal Circuit addressed Metabolite only in a footnote, which makes me wonder whether the court is setting itself up for a confrontation with Justice Breyer. (Justices Stevens and Souter, who joined the dissent, have since retired from the Court.) … Continue reading this entry