CAFC issues decision in Myriad

The bio-patent world can now exhale. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) and ACLU v. USPTO and Myriad Genetics (Fed. Cir. 2012).  Recall the U.S. Supreme Court had remanded Myriad back to the CAFC to review in light of the USSC’s decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus, Inc., 566 U.S. ___, 132 S. Ct. 1289 (2012). Yesterday the Court held for the most part in favor of Myriad, stating that claims related to isolated DNA molecules and methods of screening potential cancer therapeutics are patent-eligible.

... On the merits, we reverse the district court’s decision that Myriad’s composition claims to “isolated” DNA molecules cover patent-ineligible products of nature under § 101 because each of the claimed molecules represents a non-naturally occurring composition of matter. We also reverse the district court’s decision that Myriad’s method claim to screening potential cancer therapeutics via changes in cell growth rates of transformed cells is directed to a patent-ineligible scientific principle. We affirm the court’s decision, however, that Myriad’s method claims directed to “comparing” or “analyzing” DNA sequences are patent ineligible; such claims include no transformative steps and cover only patent-ineligible abstract, mental steps. ...