Even Breakthrough Patents Can Be Invalid, Sequenom Shows

By Ryan Davis (June 15, 2015, 8:12 PM EDT) -- The Federal Circuit's decision Friday that Sequenom Inc.'s patent for prenatal DNA tests is invalid for claiming a natural phenomenon makes clear that many medical and biotechnology patents are at risk from the U.S. Supreme Court's Mayo and Myriad rulings, even those involving groundbreaking innovations, attorneys say.

The appeals court said Sequenom's discovery that DNA taken from the plasma of a pregnant woman can be used to test the fetus for gender and identify genetic defects, eliminating the need for risky invasive procedures, "is a positive and valuable contribution to science."

But the court found the company's patent was invalid because it relied...

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