October 30th, 2009

The Mayo Clinic Petitions the Supreme Court regarding Medical Method Patent

By Kelley Luckstein

As a patent attorney, born and raised in Rochester, MN, and having received life saving surgery and medical care from the Mayo Clinic, I am particularly interested in a current petition for Supreme Court to hear a medical method patent case in which the Mayo Clinic is challenging the patent eligibility of Prometheus Labs‘ U.S. Patents 6,355,623 and 6,680,302.

Much like the question presented in Bilski v. Doll, the Supreme Court is being asked to determine whether the method patent claims at issue satisfies the patent eligibility requirements of 35 USC § 101.  In Mayo v. Prometheus Labs., the method is generally directed to administering medication to a patient in an iterative process such that successive doses are adjusted based on the level of the drug determined to be in the patient.   The Mayo Clinic’s concern is that the patents claim observed correlations between patient test results and patient health, effectively preempting all uses of these naturally occurring correlations. 

Richards Patent Law, 10/29/09

Tags: Business Relations, Prometheus

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