The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are best known for trying to take control of nature and declare it to be their private property by a loop hole called patent your idea. Through a recent Supreme Court verdict a new standard has been introduced to curb this fraudulent practice. The Supreme Court through its recent verdict have ruled two medical diagnostics patents invalid which were held by a biotech company owned by the food giant Nestle. Nestle’s biotech company developed an analytical method that tested the levels of metabolites in a patient’s blood to determine proper dosage levels of a class of drugs known as thiopurines that resulted in competing diagnostic protocols that performed the same or similar functions.
In 2004, for instance, a well known clinic in Minnesota developed its own metabolite testing protocol and abandoned Prometheus' product. Prometheus filed an infringement lawsuit alleging the clinic that the claim on the use of protocol resulted in patent infringement. However, these methods were purely the method used to deliver drug products and not actually drugs themselves, and the court held that “doctors or clinics that use such methods are merely utilizing advancements in science for the betterment of patients, and are not in violation of any sort of patents”.
"Laws of nature, natural phenomena and abstract ideas are not patentable," said the decision by a Judge, who overturned a previous ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in favor of Prometheus' two patents. "[A]n application of a law of nature ... must do more than simply state the law of nature while adding the words 'apply it' ... [t]he claims are consequently invalid." The decision has prompted a fresh review of another case involving Myriad Genetics & Laboratories, a company that had tried to patent human genes. Back in 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had passed a judgment that these patents valid but thanks to the recent decision in the Prometheus case, that decision could eventually be reversed. "The chemical structure of native human genes is a product of nature, and it is no less a product of nature when that structure is 'isolated' from its natural environment than are cotton fibers that have been separated from cotton seeds or coal that has been extracted from the earth," wrote the U.S. Department of Justice briefing on the issue several years ago.