Tuesday, July 6, 2010
California biotech companies could benefit greatly from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on patent law. Some patent experts believe the ruling could allow companies to eventually own genetic materials.
Alex Hadjis, a patent attorney with Morrison and Forrester in Washington D.C. says under current practice most types of gene therapies cannot be exclusively owned by a person or company.
"Laws of nature and physical phenomena are not patentable," Hadjis said.
The U.S. Supreme Court has now ruled in the case known as Re Bilski that the current standard for evaluating patents is outdated. That could be a boon for California’s bio tech industry, which has seen several potentially profitable gene therapies rejected for failing to meet current patent standard.
Hadjis says lawyers, Congress, inventors and companies, even those inventing new genes, have a new opportunity to make a new standard.
"The Bilski decision, this opens the door to broader patentability," Hadjis said.
Currently, California’s Biotech industry generates about $80 billion annually.