As expected, the Supreme Court remanded the Myriad case back to the lower Circuit Court to review its previous finding in lieu of the new ruling in the very recent Prometheus case. As explained in the blog post, the Supreme Court would like to make sure the lower court vets all the issues.
This case as you may remember essentially is deciding whether gene sequences (genes) are patentable. Most of the biotech industry and the BIO organization have certainly backed Myriad claiming that a denial of these patents would chill innovation and investment in the industry.
Opponents see patenting genes as goign against the patent doctrine prohibiting patents "on the underlying laws of nature." Prometheus was cited as being in violation of this concept as its patent was thrown out last week. Opponents also see the Myriad BRCA patents as potentially limiting access to potentially life-saving genetic tests if it is deemed to be the only provider.
Many observers expect the Circuit Court to reaffirm its original ruling (in Myriad's favor) and then we'll end back up at the Supreme Court anyway. The drama unfolds.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Apr 2nd 2012.