U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Could Impact Diagnostics Firms

March 21, 2012 – In The News
NJ Biz

A recent decision by the United States Supreme Court could have a significant impact on diagnostics companies.

In a unanimous decision, the nation’s highest court threw out two patents owned by Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., a California-based diagnostics firm. The patents were related to a process that Prometheus developed for doctors to determine if gastrointestinal therapy was working in a given patient. The Supreme Court ruled that the process relied on information and methods that were already known in the medical community, thus making the process unpatentable.

Gerard P. Norton, chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property department, recently spoke with NJBiz about the impact that this decision has on the diagnostics industry.

According to Norton, “It’s an important case, and it will have a major impact on how diagnostics companies are going to be going after patent protection in the future.”

Norton also cautioned that the impact will be felt on an individual basis. “We can’t be like Chicken Little and say all diagnostic kits and method claims are invalid,” he said.

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