Patenting Medical and Genetic Diagnostic Methods
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Patenting Medical and Genetic Diagnostic Methods

Eddy D. Ventose

This well-researched book explores in detail the issue of patenting medical and genetic diagnostic methods in the United States. It examines decisions of the Patent Office Boards of Appeal and the early courts on the question of whether medical treatments were eligible for patent protection under section 101 of the Patents Act. It then traces the legislative history of the Medical Procedures and Affordability Act that provided immunity for physicians from patent infringement suits. After considering the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on patent eligibility, the book then comprehensively sets out how the Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court have dealt with the issue, paying close attention to the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bilski and Prometheus.
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Chapter 4: Patent-eligibility

Eddy D. Ventose

Extract

The constitutional guarantee, by virtue of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, of the Constitution of the United States, provides that ‘Congress shall have the power … To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.’ In furtherance of this clause, Congress enacted the Patent Act and established the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). To this end, section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 USC, relating to inventions patentable, provides that ‘Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.’ Since the claims at issue in this book are all methods or process claims, it is important to state the statutory definition of ‘process’ in section 100(b): ‘The term “process” means process, art or method, and includes a new use of a known process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or material.’

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