On August 27, 2015, a number of various groups filed numerous amicus briefs requesting that the full Federal Circuit rehear a decision that Sequenom Inc.’s fetal DNA test patent is invalid because it allegedly involves natural material. The amici, which includes the Intellectual Property Owners Association, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, various corporations, including Novartis AG, and a group of 23 law professors, argue that the Federal Circuit’s decision in Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc. contradicts numerous precedential cases, chills innovation by inventors, and causes uncertainty as to the patent eligibility of biological advances. In the underlying decision, the Federal Circuit upheld a District Court ruling that awarded summary judgment to Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc., by finding that Sequenom’s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 was directed to patent-ineligible subject matter. The case remains pending and is captioned 14-1139.
By: Jacqueline A. DiRamio