I like to keep info flowing on the Myriad ("gene patent") case as it percolates through the Supreme's toward a final decision. This from Patent Docs blog yesterday summarizes some findings in a recent Nature Biotechnology paper as to the impact on existing patents -- and this effect is expected to be less impactful than it might have been 30 years ago.
Frankly, one wonders why this case is even going to court now. Many of the diagnostic techniques being challenged are effectively obsolete (or soon will be) due to the fruits of the genome project and sequencing. But there is some level of trepidation that a sweeping ruling with regard to "products of nature" by the Court could actually damage other fields of biotechnology. That might cause harm to economic incentives for commercializing genetic technology, which in turn could lead to inhibited disclosure of knowledge to the detriment of progress in the industry.
And more to the point, any ruling in Myriad at this juncture is unlikely to alter the current access to diagnostic testing that the case was purportedly about.
Posted by Bruce Lehr May 16th 2013.