Earlier this term, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Bilski v. Kappos, which challenged the patentability of certain business methods. This case impacts method patents directed to life sciences research and diagnostic testing, as seen recently in Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Services. At the heart of the Bilski case is the Federal Circuit's machine-or-transformation test and Congress%EF%BF%BDs intent to allow patents protection for methods of conducting business.
A related concept to the subject matter patentability issue in Bilski is the debate over the patentability of genes. Recently, the ACLU filed suit against Myriad Genetics, challenging the company's patents on two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancers. Although the case is still pending in the lower courts, many have already recognized the broad implications this case will likely have on the biotechnology industry and genetics-based medical research in light of the thousands of gene patents issued since the sequencing of the human genome.
The symposium gathers experts from academia and professional and regulatory institutions to discuss the implications of these two landmark cases poised to change the future of biotechnology patents.
Professor Lawrence Sung
Professor and Director, Intellectual Property Program
University of Maryland School of Law
Panel #1: Implications of ACLU-Myriad on the Patentability of Genes
Panel #2: Bilski and the Future of Medical Diagnostic Inventions
Closing Remarks from Professor Sung
Dr. Joann Boughman
Executive Vice President, The American Society of Human Genetics
Professor Kevin E. Collins
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Professor Timothy Holbrook
Emory University School of Law
Professor Christopher Holman
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
Professor Eileen M. Kane
Penn State Dickinson School of Law
Professor Janice M. Mueller
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Professor Joshua D. Sarnoff
American University, Washington College of Law