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Brandon Bourdages / Shutterstock.com
23 June 2016Americas

US Supreme Court set to consider Ariosa v Sequenom

The US Supreme Court is set to consider today whether to take on a long running patent dispute between Sequenom and Ariosa Diagnostics centring on pre-natal testing.

The dispute concerns Ariosa’s Harmony Test, a non-invasive tool for pre-natal diagnosis of foetal qualities.

Sequenom claimed the test infringes its US patent number 6,258,540, obtained in 2001 and directed to a method of detecting paternally inherited cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma in pregnant women.

In 2012, Ariosa sought a declaratory judgment of non-infringement from the US District Court for the District of Northern California. Sequenom counterclaimed and requested a preliminary injunction. The district court ruled that the ‘540 patent was invalid.

A three-judge panel at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the invalidity of the patent in June 2015, citing the US Supreme Court’s decision in 2012 in the Mayo v Prometheus case.

Th Mayo ruling clarified that aninvention that covers a natural phenomenon cannot not be patented.

If it takes on the case, the Supreme Court has been asked to consider whether a novel method is patent-eligible when a researcher has achieved three things.

They are that the researcher is first to discover a natural phenomenon, that unique knowledge has motivated him or her to apply a new combination of known techniques to that discovery, and a previously impossible result is discovered without pre-empting other uses of the discovery.

LSIPR has closely followed developments in the case. You can see other related content by clicking on the links below.

Sequenom files writ to Supreme Court in Ariosa patent row

Eyes on Supreme Court after Sequenom rejection

Federal Circuit invalidates Sequenom patent, cites Mayo

Sequenom files patent infringement suit in Australia

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