In February, in Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo Collaborative Services, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the current understanding that if patent claims only recite conventional technical steps in applying a natural law, then those claims are patent-ineligible. This interpretation of patent law has been a barrier to the patenting of diagnostics and personalized medicine claims. Patent applicants constantly lose on patent subject matter eligibility rejections because virtually every time a biomarker is used for detection it is considered directed to a law of nature or natural phenomenon. MMM’s Ping Wang, John Murray, Michael Ye and Angel Wang take a deep dive into this case.
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