Law Seminars International Presents: Call from Anywhere for a One-Hour Expert Analysis by Phone on

Molecular Pathology v. U.S. PTO on Gene Patents
Key issues and practical implications

June 24, 2010
Call in from Anywhere!
TeleBriefing starts at 10:00 am Pacific, 11:00 am Mountain, 12:00 pm Central, & 1:00 pm Eastern

Who Should Dial In

In-house and private practice attorneys, life sciences executives and representatives, consultants, agency and university officials

Why You Should Dial In

On March 29, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued its decision in Association for Molecular Pathology v. U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, No. 09-Civ-4515. The Court struck down patent claims covering "isolated DNA molecules" on the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 as well as therapeutic methods that involved "comparing" and "analyzing" a human genome against these genes to determine a patient's genetic propensity for breast cancer. In particular, Judge Sweet found the patent composition claims covering BRCA1 and BRCA2 were not "markedly different" from native DNA as it exists in nature, and therefore unpatentable phenomena of nature under 35 U.S.C. Section 101. Judge Sweet also found the method claims, which covered various breast cancer assays of patient DNA, were unpatentable as abstract mental processes under 35 U.S.C. Section 101. The opinion also included a footnote suggesting that claims to DNA are to be treated differently than other subject matter in determining patentability: "[t]he conclusions reached in this opinion concerning the subject matter patentability of isolated DNA, however, are based on the unique properties of DNA that distinguish it from all other chemicals and biological molecules found in nature."

If upheld, this decision casts doubt on the validity of so-called "gene patents," and even if it is struck down, the decision (which solicited a flood of amicus briefs) illustrates the tension in the industry on this topic.

In this one-hour TeleBriefing, our distinguished panel of experts will discuss the implications of this landmark decision and offer practical advice for the IP and life sciences communities.

What You Will Learn

What Attendees Have Said About Similar Programs


Thursday, June 24, 2010

10:00 am

Molecular Pathology v. U.S. PTO on Gene Patents

Introduction & Overview

Elizabeth Ann Howard, Ph.D., Esq., Moderator
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP / Menlo Park, CA

Plaintiffs' Perspective

Sandra Elaine Wells, Ph.D., Esq., Vice President and Chief IP Counsel
Affymetrix / Santa Clara, CA

Biotech Perspective

Hansjorg Sauer, Ph.D., Esq., Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property
Biotechnology Industry Organization / Washington, DC

11:00 am

Q & A (for up to 30 minutes)



Tuition is $125 per caller and $50 each for additional people on the same line who wish to receive continuing education credit. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. Contact our office for more information.

Cancellation & Substitution

You may substitute another person at any time. If you are unable to join the call, you can download the audio and materials later or we'll send you an audio CD and written materials for an additional $10.

Continuing Education Credits

This TeleBriefing qualifies for 1.0 Washington CLE credit. Upon request, we will apply for CLE credits in other states and other types of credits. Please note that audio programs currently do not qualify for CLE credits from the Delaware, Kansas, and Ohio bar associations.


The dial-in number and a link to the materials will be emailed to you the day before the TeleBriefing. All orders are processed within one business day of receipt.

If You Cannot Attend

You may download the entire audio and materials for $125 or obtain an audio CD and printed materials for an additional $10. Both options include the written materials. Downloads are available within 48 hours after the TeleBriefing or from the date we receive payment. We will ship a CD order via UPS ground within two weeks after the TeleBriefing or from the date we receive payment.
Order Homestudy

Our Distinguished Panel

Elizabeth Howard is Co-Chair of the life sciences practice at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Ms. Howard focuses her practice on patent infringement litigation, with an emphasis on the life sciences. Her practice also includes trade secrets disputes and handling anti-counterfeiting matters in the pharmaceutical industry. In addition to litigating in numerous federal district courts and California state courts, Dr. Howard has appeared before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in interference proceedings, and arbitrated before the International Chamber of Commerce.

Hans Sauer is Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), a major trade association representing over 1,100 biotechnology companies from the medical, agricultural, environmental, and industrial sectors in the United States and internationally. At BIO, Mr. Sauer advises the organization's board of directors, amicus committee, and various staff committees on patent and other intellectual property-related matters. Prior to his current position, Mr. Sauer was Chief Patent Counsel for MGI Pharma, Inc., in Bloomington, MN, and Senior Patent Counsel for Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Baltimore, MD. Mr. Sauer has 15 years of professional in-house experience in the biotechnology industry, where he worked on several research and drug development programs, being responsible for patent prosecution and portfolio oversight, clinical trial health information privacy, and sales and marketing legal compliance.

Sandra Wells is VP and Chief IP Counsel, Affymetrix. Sandra joined Affymetrix in 2001 and currently leads the IP team there, with responsibilities including in-house preparation and prosecution of patent applications, assessments of 3rd party patents, IP strategy, licensing and patent litigation. Affymetrix is a pioneer in microarray technology that today enables whole genome analysis of genetic variation and gene expression. Ms. Wells has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and is registered to practice before the U.S.P.T.O.