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Myriad reloaded and ready for the next round? The Association for Molecular Pathology v U.S.P.T.O., 689 F.3d 1303 (Fed. Cir. 2012)1

Timo Minssen and Robert M Schwartz

Keywords: patent eligibility; US; Myriad; DNA; diagnostics; personalized medicine; standing

In March 2011 the Supreme Court issued its Prometheus opinion and granted certiorari, and reversed and remanded Myriad I for consideration in light of Prometheus. In August 2012 the Myriad II decision was issued. The panel in Myriad II repeated most of their separate Myriad I opinions. Myriad déjà vu looked much like Myriad I with panel members agreeing that Prometheus did not control the composition of matter claims. The opinions differed on whether composition claims were to be analysed from a chemical, structural or carrier of information standpoint with respect to laws of nature. The rationales used such rhetorical metaphors as cleaving, baseball bats, magic microscopes, extracted kidneys, slabs of marble or marble statues, the Sistine Chapel, and whether cells were ‘transformed’ molecules or ‘carriers of information’. The differing evaluations of patent-eligibility and the cursory manner in which they addressed the Supreme Court's GVR mandate may well guarantee a return appearance before the Supreme Court or, at a minimum, en banc review by the Circuit.

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