Invalidity Finding Affirmed for Dog Gene Patent

Written August 16, 2019

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on August 9, 2019, held that the University of Bern, a Swiss university, could not claim sovereign immunity to stop a challenge to its patent related to the detection of a mutation in dog DNA. Genetic Veterinary Sciences v. LABOKLIN GmbH & Co. KG, Fed. Cir., 7/29/19.

The Federal Circuit also found the patent ineligible under § 101. The patent covered ways to genotype Labrador Retrievers to see whether they could carry diseases causing crusts and fissures on the noses of young dogs. The Federal Circuit, however, said the claims weren’t directed “to a new and useful method for discovery because they begin and end with the point discovery” of a mutation in a gene.