Assoc. Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics (133 S.Ct. 2107, 2013 Jun 13)

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[DISCOVERY, NATURE] {1} Groundbreaking, innovative, or even brilliant discovery does not by itself satisfy the Section 101 inquiry. ... Myriad found the location of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, but that discovery, by itself, does not render the BRCA genes "new ... composition[s] of matter", Section 101, that are patent eligble. ... But extensive effort [searching gene sequences for the BRCA genes] alone is insufficient to satisfy the demands of Section 101. ... the United States argued in the Federal Circuit and in this Court that isolated DNA was not patent eligible under Section 101, ... We merely hold that genes and the information they encode are not patent eligible under Section 101 simply because they have been isolated from the surrounding genetic material.

[DISCOVERY, NATURE] {2} ... but the lab technician unquestionably creates something new when cDNA is made. cDNA retains the naturally occurring exons of DNA, but is distinct from the DNA from which it was derived. As a result, cDNA is not a "product of nature" and is patent eligible under Section 101, except insofar as very short series of DNA may have no intervening introns to remove when creating cDNA. In that situation, a short strand of cDNA may be indistinguishable from natural DNA.


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