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Prometheus: A New Dawn for Biotech Patents

October 08, 2012

By BRUCE WEXLER

Pharmaceutical and biotech companies, legal academics and the media have expressed concern and uncertainty regarding the state of patent eligibility law in light of the Supreme Courts ruling in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Labs. Some are wary that Prometheus signals an end to patent eligibility for broad categories of subject matter, particularly discoveries in biotechnology. However, a careful inspection of Prometheus reveals the decision to be a fact-specific case reaffirming previous Supreme Court precedent concerning patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.