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SCOTUS Refuses Prenatal Test Patent Dispute
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27 Jun 2016 03:43 PM EST

On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a bid to review a legal fight over the cancellation of a patent on a less-risky form of prenatal testing. The case that has left many companies and trade groups worried that important discoveries may no longer qualify for patents.
Sequenom's patent relates to a non-invasive test of a pregnant woman's blood to detect fetal DNA in order to screen for genetic abnormalities such as Down Syndrome. Doctors say such tests have dramatically reduced the need for invasive tests such as amniocentesis. Those tests carry a small risk of miscarriage.
Sequenom asked the Supreme Court to take the case. The company said investment in research could dry up if patents continue to be invalidated.
Some 40 companies, trade groups and universities had urged the high court to take the case to clarify its own precedents on when discoveries derived from laws of nature can be patented. Lower courts have cited such rulings to cancel patents.

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