Supreme Court Comments on Patentable Subject Matter in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Lab’s, Inc.


In an opinion handed down on March 20, 2012, the Supreme Court determined that patents covering thiopurine dosing tests covered unpatentable subject matter. The Court held that while the application of a law of nature to a known structure or purpose may deserve patent protection, to transform an unpatentable law of nature into patent eligible technology takes more than stating the law of nature and asking that the law be applied.

The Prometheus patent claims are directed to test kits associated with the treatment of autoimmune diseases with thiopurine drugs. It had been well known that when ingested, thiopurine is broken down by the body to produce certain chemicals (or metabolites) in the bloodstream. It had also been known that there were correlations between the metabolite levels in the bloodstream and the toxicity and efficacy of thiopurine drugs. The Prometheus claims were directed to the use of those correlations of bloodstream metabolites to inform treating physicians about the level of thiopurine in their patients and how those levels needed to be adjusted for maximum benefit.

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Thompson Coburn LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.