(March 21, 2012, Weil News)
Patent Litigation partner Edward Reines was quoted by both The Wall Street Journal
and the National Law Journal
on the US Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories Inc.
that processes based on nothing more than natural laws or natural phenomena were not patentable. The Court's March 20 decision in the case, which involved the validity of patents for a diagnostic test used in connection with the treatment of autoimmune diseases, overturned a prior ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that upheld the patent.
Mr. Reines, who filed an amicus brief in the case on behalf of several personalized-medicine companies, called the decision significant and likely to have consequences beyond the life sciences field. Saying it contained both good news and bad news for the personalized-medicine industry, he noted the decision "doesn't provide clarity as to what is acceptable but it also doesn't provide a mandate to lower courts which would wipe out all personalized medicine. …The question is how much innovation we can have in this area."
A link to the National Law Journal
article, entitled "Unanimous Court Finds Diagnostic Process Not Patentable," can be found here
and a link to The Wall Street Journal
article, "Top Court's Patent Rejection Alarms the Biotech Industry," can be found here
(both may require registration/subscription).