Pigs Fly: Federal Court Invalidates Myriad’s Patent Claims
Boo. Also, Yah.
1. The Plaintiffs Win. The ruling appears to be a nearly complete victory for the plaintiffs and their supporters, including the ACLU. With respect to Myriad’s issued patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, Judge Sweet’s ruling invalidates both Myriad’s composition of matter claims (its patents on isolated DNA sequences to all or a portion of the breast cancer genes) and its method claims (those patent claims that relate to analyzing or comparing isolated DNA sequences in order to detect mutations in a patient’s BRCA1/2 genes that might cause breast cancer).
The overall tone of the Court’s ruling is best captured by this passage (from page 135):
The identification of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene sequences is unquestionably a valuable scientific achievement for which Myriad deserves recognition, but that is not the same as concluding that it is something for which they are entitled to a patent.