Laying Claim To DNA

Law360, New York (August 18, 2011, 2:53 PM EDT) -- On July 29, 2011, the Federal Circuit handed down the hotly anticipated decision in Association for Molecular Pathology v. USPTO, Fed. Cir., No. 2010-1406, July 29, 2011. In a 2-1 decision, the panel held that isolated DNA molecules are eligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

The substantive dispute among the parties is whether claims to isolated DNA impermissibly encompass a product of nature. Myriad argued that isolated DNA is patent eligible because it is “a nonnaturally occurring composition of matter” with “a distinctive...
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