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ECT News Community   »   E-Commerce Times Talkback   »   Re: Putting a Patent on Human Genes



Re: Putting a Patent on Human Genes
Posted by: C. Donald Brown 2010-03-06 07:03:59
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While patent practitioners are well familiar with and accepting of the phrase that patentable subject matter may include "anything under the sun that is made by man," the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently heard arguments that may call the rationale behind that famous quote -- or rather infamous quote -- into question. The Plaintiffs argue that patents should not be awarded for the discovery of an "ancient secret of nature." Every invention in the history of man involves something to do with nature, counter the Defendants.


Myriad Genetics/Gene Patents case
Posted by: TechLaw_Elman 2010-03-06 07:28:00 In reply to: C. Donald Brown
Nice article, Don, with helpful background.

However, I'd like to clarify your mention of 35 U.S.C. 287(c) as an example of a change of what's "statutory subject matter." In fact, it's an example of the opposite. When Congress passed that law, they didn't tinker with what is or isn't patentable subject matter but just made certain kinds of patent claims (to a defined category of "medical activities") unenforceable against medical professionals and "related health care entit[ies]."

For a further discussion of this hearing, see the posting by my colleague Scott Powell and myself at http://elman.com/2010/02/aclu-lawyers-face-off-against-the-u-s-patent-office-and-myriad-genetics/
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