Gene case a big win for biotech industry

Association For Molecular Pathology v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is a victory for companies with DNA patents, but the case could return to the Supreme Court

The Federal Circuit’s decision was a tremendous victory for the biotech industry. Or so it seemed.

The court on Aug. 16 held that human DNA can be patented. The 2-1 ruling in Association For Molecular Pathology v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reaffirmed the panel’s prior decision in the case and rejected again the contention that human DNA is an unpatentable product of nature.

Different Opinion

Federal Circuit Judge William Bryson analyzed the case very differently. In his opinion that concurred in part and dissented in part, Judge Bryson held that patent eligibility of a product was determined by “(1) the similarity in structure between what is claimed and what is found in nature and (2) the similarity in utility between what is claimed and what is found in nature.”

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Steven Seidenberg

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