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Patent applicants with digital health inventions need to remember that being useful and novel may not be enough, warn Linda Thayer, Aaron Capron and Sneha Nyshadham of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner.
Digital healthcare technologies are transforming the healthcare industry and quickly changing the way healthcare is delivered. Disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, together with faster processing devices, have made it possible to analyse and predict risk and outcomes, sometimes in real time.
Despite these substantial benefits, some of the most innovative solutions face significant hurdles to obtaining patent protection. In two precedential opinions the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the rejection of two patent applications in the field of bioinformatics as not patentable subject matter under 35 USC §101.
Bioinformatics uses a combination of computer processing and biological or genetic information to detect and diagnose medical conditions. The rejected patent applications dealt with computerised methods and systems for determining or resolving haplotype phase. Haplotype phasing is a process for determining the parent from whom alleles (ie, versions of a gene) are inherited.
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Finnegan, patent eligibility, healthcare, novelty, inventions, technologies, US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, genetics, PTAB, biologics