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Court to decide personal medicine patent issue

Supreme Court to decide whether to invalidate personal medicine patent By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' The Supreme Court plans to give guidance to the emerging field of personal medicine when it decides what kind of medical tests can be patented.

The justices on Wednesday heard arguments from lawyers from the Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic, which wants thrown out a patent held by Prometheus Laboratories, a division of Switzerland-based Nestle.

The patent protects a blood test that helps doctors determine the proper dosage for a drug to treat gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal autoimmune illnesses. Mayo invented its own test, and Prometheus sued, saying the new test would infringe on its patent.

A federal judge threw out the Prometheus patent, saying it was an attempt to patent a natural phenomenon and a thought process. That decision was overturned by a federal appeals court.

Justices will rule next year.

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