High Court Ponders Limits Of Patentability In Mayo Suit

By Ryan Davis (December 7, 2011, 9:04 PM EST) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday tackled the question of when the application of natural phenomena becomes patentable in a case where Mayo Collaborative Services is challenging a blood test method patented by Prometheus Laboratories Inc.

During oral arguments in the closely watched case, the justices' questions indicated that while laws of nature cannot be patented, the applications of such laws are eligible for patent protection, and what constitutes a patentable application is not clearly defined.

Mayo claims that Prometheus' patents, which cover a test for the level of a chemical produced in the blood in the presence of a certain...

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