Over thirty years ago, the USPTO awarded the first gene patent (US 4,447,538) and the Supreme Court held that biological inventions were subject to patent protection. Since then, tens of thousands of U.S. “gene” or DNA related patents have issued. However, there has been much uncertainty over the patentability of such inventions as of late.
On Monday, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in the well-publicized Assn. For Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, et al. case (“Myriad”) for the purpose of vacating the underlying Federal Circuit decision — finding isolated DNA sequences from human genes as patentable subject matter — and remanding the case for reconsideration in view of its recent ruling in Mayo Collaborative Services, et al. v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. (“Mayo”).