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Myriad Genetics, American Civil Liberties Union, Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), University of Utah Research Foundation diagnostic news

November 8, 2010 8:00 AM UTC

The U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief for the U.S. government in Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. U.S. PTO, et al., which concluded that "claims encompassing isolated human genomic DNA are invalid." The DoJ acknowledged that its stance "is contrary to longstanding practice" of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as well as government agencies, like the National Institutes of Health, which have sought and obtained patents for isolated genomic DNA. The DoJ did say that patent claims to "cDNAs and similar man-made constructs" should be eligible for patenting.

A PTO official told BioCentury that the office would not change its policy of considering isolated DNA claims as eligible for patenting unless the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit directs it to do so. The PTO "will maintain the status quo relative to its examination of gene patents pending the resolution of" Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. U.S. PTO, et al. by the CAFC, according to Peter Pappas, chief communications officer and senior advisor to the under secretary and director of the PTO. ...