Myriad Genetics Appeals Ruling Invalidating Gene Patents

Just over two months ago, in a widely publicized decision we characterized as “a nearly complete victory for the plaintiffs and their supporters,” a district court judge in New York invalidated a number of Myriad Genetics’ patent claims, including the company’s patents on isolated DNA sequences in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes (i.e., “gene patents”).

Yesterday, to absolutely nobody’s surprise, the defendants in the case, including Myriad, filed a notice of appeal (pdf) with the district court. Next stop is the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. It has been just over a year since the lawsuit was first filed with the district court, and a safe guess would be that it will take roughly the same amount of time for the Federal Circuit to reach a decision, which is itself likely to be followed by an appeal to the Supreme Court. More than anything else, this appeal should serve as a reminder that there is still a long way to go before this litigation is finally resolved.