Appeals Court Says (Again) That Diagnostic Tests Are Patentable

from the supreme-court-please? dept

Last year, we wrote how a bunch of doctors were quite worried about an ongoing patent lawsuit, Prometheus Laboratories v. Mayo Collaborative Services. It involved a company, Prometheus, that claimed it could patent basic medial diagnostics, and basically said no one (such as the Mayo Clinic) could diagnose patients in the same way without paying Prometheus. The whole concept was abhorrent to many doctors. Yet, as we worried, last year the appeals court (CAFC), as it has done so often, sided with the patent holders. This summer, when the Supreme Court decided Bilski, one thing it asked CAFC to do was reconsider the Prometheus case. It's now done so, and nothing much has changed. Once again, CAFC has said that basic diagnostic tests may be patentable. Many also think (probably correctly) that this is a good indication that CAFC will also reverse a lower court ruling in the Myriad Genetics case, concerning whether or not genes are patentable. If diagnostic tests are patentable, why not genes? Of course, all this really means is that sooner or later the Supreme Court is going to have to weigh in again, and hopefully it won't punt the issue like it did in Bilski.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    weneedhelp (profile), Dec 20th, 2010 @ 2:13pm

    Patent penis and vagina groping

    I mean pat down. Then couldnt say...I patent a search procedure and make the TSA pay me for every boobie and sac groped?

     

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    Tommy, Dec 20th, 2010 @ 3:34pm

    My body!

    Looks like my right to determine how much 6-thioguanine is produced by my body is patented by Prometheus Laboratories.

    How is that not obvious?

     

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    Revi (profile), Dec 20th, 2010 @ 3:43pm

    If a human gene is patented, does that mean carriers would have to pay for cell division?

     

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    someone (profile), Dec 20th, 2010 @ 3:48pm

    Car Manufacturers

    Car manufacturers will jump on this like flies on manure.

    No more non-dealer mechanics, they can not afford the diagnostic procedure licenses.

    No more backyard DIY mechanics, DHS/ICE might arrest them for infringing on patents of Government Motors when they replace that dead battery. You know, cause you can only determine if you need a new battery following the patented non-obvious GM procedure.......

     

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    abc gum, Dec 20th, 2010 @ 5:31pm

    No doubt that Prometheus Laboratories did not have to take the hippocratic oath.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2010 @ 9:38pm

    People should start backyard medicine production.

    What happens when all houses in America are producing some form of medicine?

     

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