Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Patents for Guiding Selection of Therapeutic Treatments Were Invalid Under Bilski and Prometheus

The court granted plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment that defendant's therapeutic treatment selection patents were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 of the Patent Act because they claimed unpatentable abstract ideas. "[The claims at issue] describe abstract ideas that are commonly performed by medical professionals in evaluating, considering and constructing treatment options for a patient presenting a specific medical condition. As with the claim examined in Prometheus, these ‘steps consist of well understood, routine, conventional activity already engaged in by the scientific community; and those steps, when viewed as a whole, add nothing significant beyond the sum of their parts taken separately.' . . . [T]he Court finds that the defendants’ claims mirror the mental processes that a physician performs, and therefore embody the ‘basic tools of scientific and technological work that are free to all men and reserved exclusively to none.’ Furthermore, the computing device references in the defendants’ patents may be ‘programmed to perform very different tasks in very different ways,’ and therefore cannot serve as a significant limitation or constraint on the claimed invention. . . . [T]he Court finds the defendants’ invention unpatentable."

Smartgene, Inc. v. Advanced Biological Laboratories, SA, 1-08-cv-00642 (DCD March 30, 2012, Order) (Howell, J.)

List of orders addressing invalidity for claiming unpatentable subject matter.

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