On April 15, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in one of the most controversial and publicized biotech patent cases, the “ACLU/Myriad” gene patenting case (formally, The Association For Molecular Pathology, et al. v. USPTO et al.). While it is nearly impossible to predict the outcome of a Supreme Court case from…

by Miriam Büttner On 27 November 2012 the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) decided on the ethical problematical question, if neural precursor cells which origin from human stem cells are patentable or not (case no. X ZR 58/07). Background of the decision: Subject of this BGH decision is the validity of German patent no. 197…

An invention entailing a talking doll with the ability to send e-mails was held to be unpatentable. The Board of Appeal rejected applicant’s argument that the invention was in the technical field of stuffed animal toys or dolls. There was no contribution in that field because the claim features did not change the toy’s design…

On November 30, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in the “ACLU/Myriad” gene patenting case (Association for Molecular Pathology v. Genetics, Inc.), taking on the debate over the patent-eligibility of human genes. The Court will review the August 16, 2012 Federal Circuit decision that held for the second time that Myriad’s claims directed to isolated DNA…

EPO practice on patenting plants knows two exclusions that are defined in Art. 53(b) EPC: the exclusion of “plant varieties”, and the exclusion of “essentially biological processes for the production of plants”. The recent referral G2/12 may change this practice and may lead to the exclusion of plants depending on how they were made. The…

The UK IPO has applied the decision of the CJEU in Brüstle on stem cells in a recent case that is likely to lead to more judicial comment on the patentability of stem cell inventions. In International Stem Cell Corporation*, the applicant appealed the Examiner’s rejection of two patents, relating to methods of producing human…

On August 16, 2012, just four weeks after it heard oral arguments, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its second decision in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. (the ACLU “gene patenting”/BRCAI case). Once again, all judges on the three-judge panel agree that the diagnostic method claims based on “comparing”…

On Friday, July 20, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit heard oral arguments in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. (the ACLU “gene patenting”/BRCAI case), which is on remand in view of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Mayo v. Prometheus. Reading the tea leaves from the judges’ questions and…

Practitioners and applicants have been wondering how the USPTO would respond to the July 20, 2012, U.S. Supreme Court decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., which held that Prometheus’ personalized medicine method claims could not be patented because they were directed to a law of nature, and so excluded from patent-eligibility under 35 USC…

On 20 March 2012, the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris rendered its decision in the case relating to raloxifene, a molecule useful for treating or preventing osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, opposing Teva to Eli Lilly. This decision raises many questions, first concerning drug patents in particular (patentability of second medical use, patentability of the resolution of…