GeneX tries to invalidate Myriad BRCA patents
Alexandria | 20 August 2014

GeneDx has filed eleven inter partes reviews at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to invalidate patent claims held by Myriad Genetics over its breast cancer tests.

GeneDx's move against Myriad’s patents takes advantage of a new pathway opened up by the America Invents Act of 2011, allowing claimants to directly petition the USPTO to invalidate patents on the basis of prior art.

The company claims that several of Myriad’s patents covering tests for mutations to the cancer-related genes BRCA1, BRCA2 and MUTYH are scientific discoveries that were already public knowledge before the patents were filed.

"Myriad is attempting to prevent GeneDx and others from conducting tests involving these genes to identify the molecular basis of inherited cancer," Jorge Goldstein, director at Sterne Kessler, said in a statement.

"These IPR filings by GeneDx are the first, and so far, only use of the novel IPR procedure by any of the defendants in the Myriad litigation."

In 2013, the US Supreme Court case Association for Molecular Pathology v Myriad Genetics established that a naturally occurring DNA sequence cannot be patented.

Myriad sued GeneDx at the US District for the District of Utah, asserting that its surviving patents are still sufficient to cover its competitors’ testing methods.

Many have countersued, seven companies are now entangled in unresolved patent suits with Myriad.

Author: Franki Webb

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