The current session of the Supreme Court will be deciding on some important patent-related issues. The battle between MercExchange and eBay over the 'Buy It Now' feature will be interesting, though equally intriguing is today's hearing in the case of Laboratory Corp. v. Metabolite Laboratories. We wrote about this case and the broadening scope of what is patentable, yesterday, but the specifics here deserve to be reinforced. Metabolite claims a patent on the discovery of a correlation between raised levels of the chemical homocystein, and a defficiency in two B-vitamins. This is a naturally occuring phenomenon, but the company demands a royalty any time a B-vitamin defficiency is tested using this knowledge. As the court itself has put it, the case revolves around whether a company can "claim a monopoly over a basic scientific relationship used in medical treatment". If so, we've noticed that legs tend to kick when a mallet hits the knee; it seems like a good way to test a patient's reflexes. Our application is in the mail.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Feds Insist It Must Be Kept Secret Whether Or Not Plaintiff In No Fly List Trial Is Actually On The No Fly List
- Documents Show LA Sheriff's Department Hired Thieves, Statutory Rapists And Bad Cops
- Unarmed Man Charged With Assault Because NYC Police Shot At Him And Hit Random Pedestrians
- Judge In No Fly Case Explains To DOJ That It Can't Claim Publicly Released Info Is Secret
- German Court Says CEO Of Open Source Company Liable For 'Illegal' Functions Submitted By Community