How They Won It: Irell Nixes Patent For Prenatal DNA Test

By Alex Lawson (December 3, 2013, 4:28 PM EST) -- Irell & Manella LLP attorneys took aggressive steps to strike down a patent covering a prenatal DNA test licensed by Sequenom Inc. by citing a host of case law holding that natural phenomena and their discoveries cannot be patented to net a win for molecular diagnostics firm Ariosa Diagnostics Inc.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ruled in October that Sequenom had applied only routine and well-established scientific procedures to cell-free fetal DNA, or cffDNA, leaving only the naturally occurring genetic matter as the only innovative portion of the patent-in-suit, U.S. Patent Number 6,258,540.

The restrictions on patenting natural phenomena are clearly laid...

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