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Not Just Taking on Gene Patents, But Tackling the USPTO Too

Larry Smith at the Bulletproof Blog has a Q&A with Chris Hansen, an attorney working on the Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, et al. case challenging gene patents. Hansen, who says he expects this case to be appealed "all the way to the Supreme Court," adds that the impact of overturning the patents would open the floodgates for other gene patents to be challenged as well. "Practically, however, the impact would be even more decisive. A favorable decision upheld throughout the appeals process would effectively establish a guiding principle that no one should be able to patent a part of the human body," he says.

Over at Patent Baristas, Stephen Albainy-Jenei adds, "More significant than one crazy suit regarding gene patents is the fact that the suit names the US Patent & Trademark Office as a defendant, and then asks the court to issue an affirmative injunction requiring the USPTO to revoke the patents in suit. ... If this case stands, then anyone could sue the USPTO — and not the actual patent owner — in any Federal District Court, in any jurisdiction, to challenge any patent. It would seem that such a suit could now go forward without participation of the patent holder."

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