Tech Transfer Central

The Future of Patenting in Biomedicine

An In-Depth Look at The Effect of the Myriad Case on Gene Patenting and Genetic Diagnostics
Format: On-Demand Audio/Transcript, or DVD
Originally presented: August 26, 2010

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In the wake of the landmark gene patenting decision against Myriad, many questions still remain regarding medical diagnostic methods: Are they still patent-eligible? Should they be? How to you best protect IP in this evolving legal landscape? What impact does the ruling and cloudy legal picture affect funding prospects, and how might already-licensed innovations be affected?

Nationally-recognized patent attorney Kevin E. Noonan, PhD, and Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law Chris Holman, JD, PhD will answer these questions and many more in a this 90-minute distance learning program:

The Future of Patenting in Biomedicine:
An In-Depth Look at the Effect of the Myriad Case on Gene Patenting and Genetic Diagnostics

Drs. Noonan and Holman will go beyond legal theory to address the strategies that universities and innovators can employ to ensure sufficient patent protection and maximize investment opportunities. Here’s a quick look at the agenda:

  • The issue: “detect and infer” claims
    • All diagnostic claims have this format, no matter what is being diagnosed – how should they be analyzed?
    • What is the significance of the “detecting” step with regard to novelty?
    • Does patent eligibility depend on the nature of what is detected (metabolites? proteins? genes?)
    • Should there be a physician exception from infringement (as there is for medical procedure claims)?
    • What is the relevance of any “mental steps” involved in the claims?
    • Justice Breyer: the impact of merely reading numbers in light of medical knowledge
    • Should a medical degree be enough to distinguish (versus an auto mechanic, for example)?
  • The impact of recent case law
    • Bilski and what it says about medical diagnostic claims
    • What can we expect from the Federal Circuit?
    • Lessons learned and hints from other recent cases: Classen, Prometheus, Myriad
    • The significance of genetic methods as a subset of medical diagnostic claims
  • Genetic information
    • Relationship between information per se and methods of obtaining information
    • Consequences of an outright ban: hiding information as trade secret
    • Gene patenting bills in Congress
    • Is there a middle ground?

Plus, we’ll detail the options available to universities and start-ups if there is a judicial or legislative ban on diagnostic, particularly genetic diagnostic, method claims

Your Panel of Experts:

Kevin E. Noonan, PhD, is a Partner with McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP and has extensive experience in biotechnology and the chemical arts. Dr. Noonan brings more than 10 years of experience as a molecular biologist working on high-technology problems to his legal work. He has wide experience in all aspects of patent prosecution, interferences, litigation, and client counseling on validity, infringement, and patenting strategy matters. He represents pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies both large and small, and he is particularly experienced in representing university clients in both patent prosecution and licensing.

Professor Chris Holman has been an associate professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law since 2005. His primary research focus lies at the intersection of intellectual property and biotechnology, and he has taught classes in patent law; intellectual property; food, drug and biotechnology law, antitrust and competition law; drug and medical technology torts and property. Prior to becoming a law professor, Professor Holman served as vice-president of intellectual property and patent counsel at several Silicon Valley biotechnology companies, and worked as an associate at a major intellectual property law firm. He was also at one time a tenure-track chemistry professor in the California State University system.

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