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Monday, October 19, 2015

IP Australia issues patent examination proposal following Myriad decision

By Trevor Davies, Partner

In light of the recent High Court decision in D'Arcy v Myriad Genetics, in which the High Court unanimously ruled that isolated nucleic acid encoding the mutant BRCA1 polypeptide was not patentable, IP Australia has issued a proposal for patent examination for public comment.

We are pleased to note that IP Australia has taken a pragmatic approach to the Myriad decision and proposes excluding only a limited class of genetic material from patent protection.
The following subject matter will NOT to be eligible for patent protection:
  • Naturally occurring (human and non-human) nucleic acid encoding polypeptides or functional fragments thereof - either isolated or synthesised;
  • cDNA; and
  • Naturally occurring human and non-human encoding RNA - either isolated or synthesised.
Importantly all other biological materials and their uses will remain patentable in Australia.
The deadline for submitting comments on the notice ends on 30 October 2015. We will publish the outcome of this consultation process on our website and on Scintilla.
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding patent protection in Australia.

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