Wolf Greenfield Patent Attorneys Co-Author Amicus Brief on Behalf of Boston Patent Law Association

Members of Intellectual Property law firm Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C. recently filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA) in support of Myriad Genetics, Inc. in The Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics.

Concerned that denying patent eligibility to inventions, such as those at issue in this case, will hinder the development of better diagnostics and therapies, disrupt settled expectations in the biotechnology industry, and discourage innovation generally, the BPLA filed an amicus brief to address its concerns with the Supreme Court. Wolf Greenfield attorneys Patrick R.H. Waller and Daniel W. Young co-authored the brief in conjunction with other members of the BPLA.

In the amicus brief, the BPLA outlines key recommendations for the Court, drawing upon historical precedents and progress in the case thus far. The BPLA points out that Congress has previously established that isolated human “genes” are patent eligible and, given the opportunity during the recent debate on patent reform, declined to exclude so-called “gene patents” from patent eligibility under §101. The brief states that the biotechnology industry and others have come to rely on “gene patents” and thus, any sweeping contraction of the scope of patent eligible subject matter in this area would unsettle the expectations of the public based on thirty years of Patent Office practice. The BPLA believes the decision should be left to Congress, which has already initiated an investigation of the impact of the Myriad case and genetic testing patents in general.

In addition, the BPLA urges, the Court would provide a great service to the public by clarifying the legal principles underlying eligibility standards for patents as applied to biological products, including reaffirming the approach of Chakrabarty and other cases requiring consideration of the claimed product as a whole and application of the pragmatic “new and useful” test to distinguish products of human ingenuity from products of nature. The brief can be accessed here