The fate of biological patents: a Myriad analysis

Intellectual Property Magazine
June 2011

In April 2011, the Federal Circuit heard arguments on appeal in the case Association for Molecular Pathology et al. v United States Patent and Trademark Office et al., popularly known as the Myriad case. The decision from the lower court, the Southern District of New York, held that isolated deoxyribonucleic acid (“DNA”) containing sequences found in nature, is not patentable. If the Federal Circuit affirms the district court, the decision could potentially have a significant impact on the patentability of other products isolated from natural sources. This article discusses the different legal frameworks the Federal Circuit could apply to affirm the district court and explores the reach of such a decision on patents for isolated products from naturally occurring sources, such as proteins and antibodies.

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