New USPTO Guidance May Help Diagnostics Patents

Law360 (April 22, 2019, 1:21 PM EDT) -- In February, in Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo Collaborative Services,[1] the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the current understanding that if patent claims only recite conventional technical steps in applying a natural law, then those claims are patent-ineligible.

This interpretation of patent law has been a barrier to the patenting of diagnostics and personalized medicine claims. Patent applicants constantly lose on patent subject matter eligibility rejections because virtually every time a biomarker is used for detection it is considered directed to a law of nature or natural phenomenon.

In Athena, the Federal Circuit considered an appeal by Athena...

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