Mossoff Quoted in Bloomberg Regarding Patent Case

Professor Adam Mossoff's remarks were quoted in a Bloomberg article discussing Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, a patent case to come before the U.S. Supreme Court this week for arguments. In it, the Court will consider a fundamental question in patent law—what can be patented—as it hears a case that tests the principle that natural phenomenon cannot be patented.

Mossoff urged the Court to act with caution in patent cases, saying, "The Supreme Court does not want to formulate a rule that inadvertently prevents the next wave of innovation. The potential error cost to future innovation is very high in these cases."

Blood-Test Case at Top Court May Send "Shock Waves," Bloomberg, December 6, 2011. By Greg Stohr and Susan Decker.
"Mayo contends the patents would give Prometheus a monopoly over all uses of the natural relationship between the metabolites created by thiopurine and the drug's impact on the human body. The patents are so broad they would bar doctors familiar with the Prometheus method from even thinking about the connections between metabolite levels and the proper dosage for a patient, Mayo's lawyers say.

"The case is about 'how far can patents intrude into a doctor's thought processes when a doctor is ordering a routine test from a lab and then thinking about the results in the context of patient treatment,' said Jonathan Singer, a lawyer at Fish & Richardson PC in Minneapolis who represents Mayo.

"Prometheus counters that its patents concern concrete applications of scientific principles, which the Supreme Court has long said fall within the scope of the U.S. Patent Act."