[Burcu Kilic and Luigi Palombi] Over the past few years, patent-eligible subject matter has become one of the hotly debated areas of patent law in several countries. Even in the U.S., the Supreme Court is beginning to express concerns about overly inclusive patent rules that stifle both competition and follow-on innovation. However, significant confusion persists over the difference between patent eligible subject matter and patentability requirements. Patent eligibility tests have proven quite difficult to apply, often leading to inconsistent and unpredictable results.
Press release from Sen. Leahy’s office
WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Friday sent a letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) urging the agency to consider using its authority to ensure greater access to life-saving genetic testing that was developed with federal research dollars. Patents for the genetic test for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes associated with breast and ovarian cancers are owned by Myriad Genetics, which was the subject of a Supreme Court ruling last month that struck down some, but not all, of Myriad’s patent claims. Following the decision, Myriad this week filed infringement suits against two companies that had announced they would begin offering lower-cost tests for the BRCA genes.