LawFuel.com – Law News Daily – In an eagerly-awaited yet controversial decision, the US Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that naturally-occurring, non-modified sequences of DNA cannot be patented under US law.
In so doing, the Court rejected the longstanding practice of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO) of granting patents for isolated DNA sequences.
The Court did however hold that complementary, or cDNA, is patentable on the basis that it does not occur naturally and it is, through human intervention, a new creation.
The Court also left open the possibility of gene patents on method and application of knowledge claims, and claims concerning altered gene sequences.
The USTPO has acknowledged that the decision will mean significant changes to its patent examination policy and has issued preliminary guidance.
The ramifications of this ruling are likely to be felt beyond the US. It has the potential to affect a diverse range of industries, not least biotech (including in the fields of agricultural and environmental biotech), pharmaceuticals, healthcare and personalised medicine.
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