Tag: Myriad Genetics Inc

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Methods of genetic testing still patentable (Meat & Livestock Australia v Cargill decision)
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High Court of Australia Finds Claims for Isolated Genetic Material not Patentable Subject Matter
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High Court to Consider Whether Isolated Genetic Material is Patentable in Australia
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Special Leave Sought to Appeal Gene Sequencing Decision to the High Court of Australia
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Australian Courts Confirm Status Quo for Patenting Gene Sequences

Methods of genetic testing still patentable (Meat & Livestock Australia v Cargill decision)

On Friday 9 February, the Federal Court handed down its highly anticipated decision in Meat & Livestock Australia Limited v Cargill, Inc [2018] FCA 51. The matter has attracted substantial media attention in Australia and generated debate about whether patents claiming methods which use genetic information should be allowed.

The principal claims of the application in suit involve method claims for identifying a trait of a bovine subject from a nucleic acid sample. In particular, the invention made use of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

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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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High Court to Consider Whether Isolated Genetic Material is Patentable in Australia

On 13 February 2015, the High Court of Australia (High Court) heard and granted Yvonne D’Arcy’s application for special leave to appeal the Full Federal Court of Australia’s (Full Federal Court) decision in D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc [2014] FCAFC 115.

The unanimous decision of the five-judge bench of the Full Federal Court was that Myriad Genetics Inc’s patent claims directed to particular isolated BRCA1 genes were patentable subject matter in Australia.

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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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Australian Courts Confirm Status Quo for Patenting Gene Sequences

Today, a five-judge bench of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia unanimously decided that Myriad Genetics Inc’s (Myriad) patent covering the isolated BRCA1 gene (Patent) is valid.

 In Yvonne D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc & Anor (5 September 2014) the Full Federal Court rejected the reasoning of the U.S. Supreme Court, when it found in 2013 that certain claims of a closely related U.S. Patent of Myriad were invalid as the claim to isolated nucleic acid was a claim to a “product of nature” and not patentable subject matter.

For the pro-patent lobby and the biotech industry, this is good news for innovation in life sciences in Australia.

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