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USPTO Memo Cuts Mayo Woes on Treatment Method Patents

June 25, 2018

Fenwick patent litigator Ewa Davison, Ph.D., was recently quoted in a Law360 article titled “USPTO Memo Cuts Mayo Woes on Treatment Method Patents.”

Davison discussed new guidance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued in light of the Federal Circuit’s recent Vanda decision. She told Law360 that the guidance effectively means that when a patent claim is directed to a specific method of treating disease, rather than to optimization of the treatment, it can avoid the patent-eligibility headaches that have led to many life sciences patents being invalidated since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Mayo decision.

"If the claims are drafted in a way that is directed to a method of treatment, rather than the law of nature, they might survive," Davison noted. She cautioned, however, that prosecutors must remain attentive to issues of divided infringement, to ensure that such claims are enforceable.

As many patents have been declared ineligible because they relate to natural relationships, Davison told Law360, "It's really nice to see the Federal Circuit and also the patent office giving some hope about the eligibility of method-of-treatment claims."

The full article is available on Law360 (subscription required).