On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in the Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics case. As noted in our previous posts, this case deals with whether patent claims directed to “isolated DNA sequences” are patent eligible subject matter under the patent laws, in connection with the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes involved in breast cancer.
Notably, the Supreme Court only granted certiorari, and therefore will only hear arguments and render a decision on the following question:
“Are human genes patentable?”
The other two questions presented were denied. Therefore the Federal Circuits prior decisions remain intact: (1) Myriad’s method claims of using transformed cells are patent eligible under Mayo v. Prometheus, and (2) plaintiffs seeking declaratory judgment must have actual injury to have standing to bring suit.
Based on this limited scope of review, it appears that the U.S. Supreme Court will finally end the debate for gene patents, and will hopefully provide some meaningful guidance in terms of scope. We anticipate a decision may come in late spring of 2013.