The impact of the controversial Myriad gene patent litigation is not yet fully known, despite Friday’s Federal Circuit panel ruling which is being covered extensively in the general and legal media. Quite possibly, the full Federal Circuit and the Supreme Court will weigh in on the case, so we must wait and see for what the full impact will be. For now, however, in this most recent appellate decision, the Federal Circuit panel upheld the ability to consider isolated gene types of composition claims as potentially patentable subject matter. The Court rejected the notion that such claims were, per se, not eligible for patent protection. In forming its opinion, the Federal Circuit panel also recognized the settled property rights of the biotechnology industry formed over the past several decades. Other aspects of the opinion such as the Myriad method claims and the so-called Bilski test are beyond the scope of this short blog. Rather, this blog notes a nanotech angle to these controversies. Full Story
In its first ever ruling on an intellectual property case, the UK’s Supreme Court has decided in Lucasfilm v Ainsworth that the stormtrooper helmets used in the Star Wars films were not “sculptures”, and thus were not protected by the English law of copyright.
Lenny Dykstra has been ordered to stand trial in Los Angeles for car theft charges related to his driving off with three luxury cars in California. Dykstra, his 27 year old accountant, and another apparently left with the vehicles after filing fraudulent lease documents. Then after this behavior established probable cause that a crime had occured, police searched Dyksra’s home. Police searched the home looking for documents related to the fraudulent leases but found cocaine, Ecstasy and synthetic human growth hormone. Dykstra is also charged with possession of these illegal dugs. This former MLB player has fallen a long way since 1993 when he hit a home run for the Phillies in their World Series run and eventual loss to the Blue Jays. Full Story
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) late Friday night issued a public health alert due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella Heidelberg that may be associated with use and consumption of ground turkey. Full Story
Drew Peterson is a former police officer whose last two marriages ended in mysterious ways. His third wife, Kathleen Savio, was found dead in her bathtub and his fourth wife, Stacey Peterson, disappeared. He is charged in Will County with Kathleen’s murder and that case is pending and had some recent major developments.
On July 29, 2011, the Federal Circuit issued its decision in Association for Molecular Pathology v. USPTO, also known as the ACLU/Myriad “gene patenting” case. In a mixed decision, the court held that “isolated DNA” claims are patent-eligible under 35 USC § 101, but that the “comparing” or “analyzing” method claims are not. With a 55 page opinion authored by Judge Lourie, a 31 page concurrence-in-part authored by Judge Moore, and a 19 page dissent-in-part authored by Judge Bryson, there is much to be analyzed before the full impact of this decision—and the contours of the holdings—will be understood. Full Story