Unanimous Supreme Court Decision In Mayo Collab. Serv. v. Prometheus Labs., Inc.

March 20, 2012

Mayo Collab. Serv. v. Prometheus Labs., Inc. was decided today by a unanimous Supreme Court that held Prometheus’s dosage optimization claims to be invalid for reciting patent ineligible subject matter under US patent law. The Court reasoned that the correlation of 6-thiopurine metabolite levels and treatment efficacy, or toxicity, defined a patent-ineligible law of nature, and not the application of a law of nature to the treatment of gastrointestinal autoimmune diseases. The decision, eagerly awaited by the biotechnology industry and medical community, unsettles expectations that medical methods are patent eligible.

Additional analysis of Prometheus will be provided in the near future, along with commentary on the expected promulgation of patent eligibility guidelines by the USPTO in view of this decision.

In light of the Prometheus decision, interest in the Court’s decision on the petition for certiorari in Assoc. Mol. Pathol., et al. v. USPTO, et al. (Myriad) is certain to be heightened.

For further information, please contact William K. Merkel, Ph.D., or any member of our biotechnology patent prosecution practice.