On November 30, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in the “ACLU/Myriad” gene patenting case (Association for Molecular Pathology v. Genetics, Inc.), taking on the debate over the patent-eligibility of human genes. The Court will review the August 16, 2012 Federal Circuit decision that held for the second time that Myriad’s claims directed to isolated DNA…

EPO practice on patenting plants knows two exclusions that are defined in Art. 53(b) EPC: the exclusion of “plant varieties”, and the exclusion of “essentially biological processes for the production of plants”. The recent referral G2/12 may change this practice and may lead to the exclusion of plants depending on how they were made. The…

On August 16, 2012, just four weeks after it heard oral arguments, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its second decision in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. (the ACLU “gene patenting”/BRCAI case). Once again, all judges on the three-judge panel agree that the diagnostic method claims based on “comparing”…

On Friday, July 20, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for 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 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Mayo v. Prometheus. Reading the tea leaves from the judges’ questions and…

Practitioners and applicants have been wondering how the USPTO would respond to the July 20, 2012, U.S. Supreme Court decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., which held that Prometheus’ personalized medicine method claims could not be patented because they were directed to a law of nature, and so excluded from patent-eligibility under 35 USC…

On 20 March 2012, the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris rendered its decision in the case relating to raloxifene, a molecule useful for treating or preventing osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, opposing Teva to Eli Lilly. This decision raises many questions, first concerning drug patents in particular (patentability of second medical use, patentability of the resolution of…

On March 20, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision 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 of nature….

The English High Court has upheld the decision of the UK Intellectual Property Office to refuse the grant of a patent for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with zinc (El-Tawil v The Comptroller General of Patents [2012] EWHC 185 (Ch)). Although the case does not break new ground, it provides a useful review…

The Board of Appeal had to decide whether the showing of results of a database analysis as a tree diagram could contribute to the technical character of the invention. The Board of Appeal pointed out that in this case one should take a wider view of the term “presentation of information” than just the actual…