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What the Supreme Court’s Myriad Decision Means for Nanotechnology Patents
Volume 10, Issue 2

Andrew S. Baluch, Stephen B. Maebius and Harold C. Wegner

This article discusses the potential impact on, and claim drafting strategies for, nanotechnology patents in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. In this case, the Supreme Court held that “isolated” segments of naturally occurring DNA cannot be patented. Prior to this decision, nanotechnology experts feared that a broad ban on “isolated” DNA segments might spill over to other fields and prevent nanotech companies from obtaining patents on certain types of nanomaterials. But, the Supreme Court issued a balanced decision upholding Myriad’s patents on synthetically-created complementary DNA and spoke approvingly of methods of isolating DNA and using DNA for new applications. The decision therefore holds the door open to the commercially most important areas of nanotech patenting. The article’s authors (who represented the nanotech industry in an amicus brief filed in the Myriad case) propose strategies for patenting nanotech inventions in the wake of the Myriad decision.

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