Illumina v. Ariosa Diagnostics

Weil secured a victory in the Patent Appeal for Illumina.

On March 17, 2020, Weil won a significant victory for longtime client and biotech innovator Illumina before the Federal Circuit that broke new ground in the fast-evolving area of patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101, and reversed a trial court’s summary judgment order invalidating the claims, in favor of the defendant, Ariosa.

Two months after oral arguments in January 2020, the appellate court ruled 2-1, over a vigorous dissent, that the asserted claims in the patents-in-suit, which relate to DNA tests for Down syndrome, describe a “method of preparation,” distinguishing them from diagnostics patents that have not typically passed muster under the prevailing Alice/Mayo standard. This is the first time that the Federal Circuit has identified a “method of preparation” as a category in the patentable subject matter analysis.

Incorporated in April 1998, Illumina, Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and biological function.

Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. provides diagnostic products. The Company offers prenatal test products for maternal and fetal health and blood tests.

The Weil team was co-led by Weil Patent Litigation and Life Sciences practices Co-Head Edward Reines (Picture) and Patent Litigation partner Derek Walter, and included Patent Litigation associate Christopher Lavin.

Involved fees earner: Christopher Lavin – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Edward Reines – Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Derek Walter – Weil, Gotshal & Manges;

Law Firms: Weil, Gotshal & Manges;

Clients: Illumina Inc;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti