Author - alex.dunlop

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High Court of Australia Finds Claims for Isolated Genetic Material not Patentable Subject Matter
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Special Leave Sought to Appeal Gene Sequencing Decision to the High Court of Australia
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IP Haiku: Phone Directories Company Australia Pty Ltd v Telstra Corporation Limited (No 2) [2014] FCA 418

High Court of Australia Finds Claims for Isolated Genetic Material not Patentable Subject Matter

On 7 October 2015, the High Court of Australia (High Court) issued its decision[1] in the long running dispute concerning Myriad Genetics, Inc.’s (Myriad) patent relating to an isolated nucleic acid coding for mutant or polymorphic BRCA1 polypeptide. Mutations in the BRCA1 gene can serve as indicators of a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

In a unanimous decision, the High Court found that claims directed to the isolated nucleic acid are invalid on the basis that they are not a ‘manner of manufacture’ and therefore not patentable subject matter. The High Court took the view that the claimed invention would extend the scope of the concept of “manner of manufacture” and that this was not something which was appropriate for courts to do. In light of the High Court’s decision, it will be interesting to see whether there is a legislative response to this issue.

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Special Leave Sought to Appeal Gene Sequencing Decision to the High Court of Australia

We recently reported on the decision by a five judge bench of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia (Full Court) which found that Myriad Genetics Inc’s patent covering the isolated BRCA1 gene is valid. The Full Court unanimously rejected an appeal by Ms. Yvonne D’Arcy from a decision by Justice Nicholas at first instance. Read our alert here.

It is now being reported that Ms. D’Arcy has sought special leave to appeal the decision to the High Court of Australia (High Court).

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IP Haiku: Phone Directories Company Australia Pty Ltd v Telstra Corporation Limited (No 2) [2014] FCA 418

Your IP Law Report in 17 Syllables

Judgments are just getting longer and more complicated, I can’t keep up with all of them!”

A familiar refrain uttered by many a lawyer and law student alike, especially in the modern, digital age (although we expect the Courts might refer to the increasing volume of electronic evidence filed by parties in proceedings as a contributing factor!)

So, in that context, could the essence of a judgment be distilled into haiku (short form Japanese poetry consisting of three phrases of five, seven and five syllables)?  Well, we are sure going to try! Read More

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