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For more than four decades, Fenwick & West LLP has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become, and remain, market leaders. From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, our clients are leaders in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors and are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation.  MORE >

Fenwick & West was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley—before “Silicon Valley” existed—by four visionary lawyers who left a top-tier New York law firm to pursue their shared belief that technology would revolutionize the business world and to pioneer the legal work for those technological innovations. In order to be most effective, they decided they needed to move to a location close to primary research and technology development. These four attorneys opened their first office in downtown Palo Alto, and Fenwick became one of the first technology law firms in the world.  MORE >

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  • Nearly 15 percent of Fenwick partners named America's Leading Lawyers for Business by Chambers USA and Chambers Global
  • Selected as a "Go-To" law firm by in-house legal departments at Fortune 500 companies in Corporate Counsel magazine
  • Named to The National Law Journal's inaugural "Intellectual Property Hot List" for outstanding patent, copyright, trademark and IP litigation services

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Prometheus – Unbound or Not

November 03, 2011

November 3, 2011 (Mountain View, CA) – Michael Shuster, Co-Chair of the Life Sciences Group with Fenwick & West, was recently quoted in the Drug Discovery News article "Prometheus – Unbound or Not."

In December, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the highly anticipated case, Mayo v. Prometheus, with arguments focusing on the issue of whether abstract ideas or laws of nature are patentable. At issue in this case is a Prometheus testing kit, which allows doctors to determine effective dosing of immunosuppressive drugs based on a patient's reaction to testing. Prometheus has sued the Mayo Clinic for infringement of their patent on this testing kit, with Mayo claiming that the patent is invalid as it involves a body's natural reaction to dosing levels.

Prometheus prevailed in their arguments at the Circuit Court level, with the Court finding that the company's invention satisfied the "machine or transformation" test for patent eligibility, and the Mayo group unable to prove that the test was only an observation of a natural phenomenon.

Dr. Michael Shuster has filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the National Venture Capital Association in support of Prometheus' claims. Dr. Shuster says that the patent claims are "very specific, not preemptive."

From an economic perspective, Shuster says that a ruling in favor of Mayo would put all companion diagnostics in danger, setting off a chain reaction that might plausibly result in the movement of such testing offshore and a loss of competitiveness for the United States.

Click here to read the full Drug Discovery News article.

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