Illumina and Ariosa settle DNA patent dispute


Alex Baldwin

Illumina and Ariosa settle DNA patent dispute

Michael Vi /

Illumina and Roche-owned Ariosa Diagnostics filed a joint stipulation asking the US Supreme Court to dismiss a case concerning the eligibility of Illumina’s DNA testing patents.

The joint stipulation of dismissal, submitted on May 21, 2021, claimed that all parties “respectively submit that this case can be dismissed”, that all fees have been paid, and that each party will bear its own costs.

The case was being decided at the US Supreme Court after a petition for a writ of certiorari was filed by Ariosa in December last year, following the Federal Circuits decision to not revisit a ruling that found both the patents eligible.

In dispute were US nos. 9,580,751 and 9,738,931, which cover a method of identifying fetal DNA in mothers.

Patent eligibility

Arisoa petitioned the court in December last year, requesting that it overturn the Federal Circuit ruling that a pregnant woman’s DNA is typically larger than the fetal DNA in her bloodstream, therefore that the process of separating the two was a patentable process.

Ariosa said in the petition: “While a method involving unconventional steps for separating DNA might plausibly survive Section 101 review [of patent eligibility], no such method is at issue here. More importantly, the Federal Circuit did not even consider the question.”

The Supreme Court itself had previously ruled that isolated DNA is not patentable in Association for Molecular Pathology v Myriad Genetics.

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Illumina, Ariosa, SCOTUS, Federal Circuit, DNA, Patents