Patenting Genetic Diagnostic Methods: NGS, GWAS, SNPs and Patents
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This article reviews the problems posed by patent claims to genetic diagnostic methods associated with genome-wide association studies (GWAS) adopting methodologies using next generation sequencing (NGS) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). These problems are essentially about experimental reproducibility and the credibility and veracity of reported developments. An analysis of the relevant law demonstrates that the current Australian and United States laws about suitable patentable subject matter differ, and that the current reproducibility (sufficiency, enablement and inutility) standards are unlikely to address these problems. The article concludes that following the United States approach excluding these genetic diagnostic method claims from patenting is one solution. Failing this, improving analysis and quality controls that are now being adopted in the basic research will reduce the nature of the problems, although this will remain problematic for patent examiners and the broader public.
Journal of Law and Medicine
© 2015 Thomson Reuters. This article was first published by Thomson Reuters in the Journal of Law and Medicine and should be cited as Lawson, Patenting Genetic Diagnostic Methods: NGS, GWAS, SNPs and Patents, (2015) 22 JLM 846. For all subscription inquiries please phone, from Australia: 1300 304 195, from Overseas: +61 2 8587 7980 or online at legal.thomsonreuters.com.au/search. The official PDF version of this article can also be purchased separately from Thomson Reuters at http://sites.thomsonreuters.com.au/journals/subscribe-or-purchase.
Intellectual Property Law