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Vedder Thinking | News Vedder Price Advises New York Intellectual Property Law Association in U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Brief Filed in Myriad Case

Press Release

Thomas J. Kowalski, a Vedder Price Shareholder and member of the firm’s Intellectual Property group, served as counsel to the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA) in a U.S. Supreme Court amicus curiae brief filed today supporting Myriad Genetics’ position in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics.

Myriad concerns the patent eligibility and patentability of inventions related to modified genetic material. Mr. Kowalski, who is also a member of the NYIPLA’s committee on amicus briefs, opined, “Isolated DNA is a ‘composition of matter’ created by human intervention and thus patent-eligible, contrary to the Petitioner’s position.” In its brief, the NYIPLA further contends that isolated DNA also represents a “manufacture,” a man-made product of raw or prepared materials that gives rise to new forms, qualities, properties or combinations. As such, the NYIPLA asserts that DNA molecules made through human intervention should not be classified as products of nature, and should continue to be afforded patent protection under U.S. law.

“Many biotechnology disciplines—virology, immunology, gene activation, gene repression, and genomics to name but a few—have made enormous strides in the past few decades, due in large part to the patent protection afforded to creators of modified genetic material,” added Mr. Kowalski. “A ruling that rejects gene patents based on isolated DNA would greatly inhibit future biotechnology investment and innovation.”

The NYIPLA is a professional association of more than 1,300 attorneys whose interests and practices lie in the area of patent, trademark, trade secret and other intellectual property law. Click here for a copy of the NYIPLA’s amicus curiae brief.


Thomas J. Kowalski