The USPTO takes the law into its own hands

On the basis of the US Supreme Court landmark Myriad and Prometheus decisions, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has recently, without any public consultation, issued new guidelines for determining patent eligibility of claims reciting or involving “laws of nature, natural phenomena and natural products”. Significantly, the guidelines appear to extend beyond the scope

High Court confirms patentability of methods of medical treatment

Consideration of what constitutes patentable subject matter has been a recurring theme in both Australian and US courts this year: In Australia, the Federal Court has considered the patentability of genetic/biological material (Cancer Voices Australia v Myriad Genetics Inc) as well as software and business methods (Research Affiliates LLC v Commissioner of Patents) In the US, the Supreme

Patent Office decision highlights identification of applications eligible for a pharmaceutical patent term extension

The term of an Australian pharmaceutical patent may be extended if a product covered by the claims receives regulatory approval in Australia. An extension of the term of a patent can be worth literally hundreds of millions of dollars to the patentee. Consequently, this is an area of Australian patent law that is of significant

The US Supreme Court rules on gene patents

In its long-awaited landmark decision in the case of Association for Molecular Pathology v Myriad Genetics Inc, the US Supreme Court has unanimously held that naturally occurring DNA sequences are products of nature and not patent eligible merely because they have been isolated. However, the Court also found that artificially created DNA sequences, such as

The economics of isolated human gene patents in Australia

On the basis of the recommendations of the 2010 Senate Community Affairs References Committee Report on Gene Patents, the Centre for International Economics (CIE) was commissioned by IP Australia to investigate the economics of isolated human gene patents in Australia. The Report has recently been made publicly available and focuses on the economic impact in

Did a gene patent save Angelina Jolie’s life?

The recent news that Angelina Jolie tested positive for the BRCA1 mutation and has consequently undergone a prophylactic double mastectomy to guard against developing breast cancer has increased the intensity of the spotlight on the gene patent debate currently playing out in both the United States Supreme Court in Association for Molecular Pathology v Myriad Genetics