Court Rejects Medical Diagnostic Patent


The Supreme Court got one right.

Not saying that they don’t on a regular basis, but this one involved IP (intellectual property) and patent law.

Check out the link at the bottom for a very good article on the case, but here’s the gist of the case.

In the case of Prometheus Laboratories v. Mayo Labs the question was “can you patient basic medical diagnostics.”  Not a product, not a drug, not a piece of equipment, but basic diagnostic science.

To me, the idea was absurd. You can’t patent nature.  Thats been well established and explains why Big Pharma is always looking to engineer drugs that do the same things (but not as well ) as something in nature.

But despite common sense, courts in California ruled that you can patient medical diagnostics.

This could potentially mean that doctors would have to pay up for performing basic medical diagnostic procedures.

Doc: OK Mr. Smith, I’d like to listen to your heart and determine if there is a problem.

Big Company: Hey…that’s patiented.  You owe us $10.

Yeah…it could have come to that.

Fortunately the cooler (and much smarter) heads in the Supreme Court prevailed.

The court effectively rejected the idea that you can patient science and a diagnostic method.

Thank. God!

To quote from the desision (penned by Justice Breyer):

If a law of nature is not patentable, then neither is a process reciting a law of nature, unless that process has additional features that provide practical assurance that the process is more than a drafting effort designed to monopolize the law of nature itself.

 As someone that works in the medical industry AND things that this country needs patient reform more than a lot of things, I applaud this ruling.

Huge Ruling: Court Rejects Medical Diagnostic Patent | Techdirt.

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