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Articles & Updates – Details

29 April 2010

Patentability of Gene Sequences

Patentability of Gene Sequences

The patentability of gene sequences isolated from their natural environment is covered by statute in Europe. For a number of years now, it has been possible to obtain grant of patents at the EPO for isolated naturally occurring gene sequences provided, of course, those sequences fulfil all of the patentability requirements of novelty, inventive step, industrial applicability etc.

However, in the USA a twist has developed. In this respect, the USA district court hearing AMP vs Myriad recently ruled that isolated naturally occurring genes are not patentable. This would appear to be a significant diversion from perceived US patent practice. A number of US commentators advise that this decision is likely to be appealed.

This recent development in the USA should have no effect on the current situation in Europe.

The gene world now awaits with interest on the expected appeal on the AMP vs Myriad case.


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