Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

After Myriad, what makes a gene patent claim 'markedly different' from nature?

Examining the types of claim amendments that have transformed isolated gene claims from patent-ineligible into eligible subject matter provides clarity into the threshold of eligibility for gene-related patents.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Methodological overview, including automated search, manual classification and expert prosecution history review steps.


  1. Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. 133 S. Ct. 2107 (2013).

  2. Burk, D.L. J. Law Biosci. 2, 606–626 (2015).

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. USPTO. 2014 interim guidance on patent subject matter eligibility. Fed. Regist. 79, 74618–74633 (2014).

  4. USPTO. July 2015 update: subject matter eligibility (USPTO, Alexandria, Virginia) (2015).

  5. Bahr, R. W. Formulating a subject matter eligibility rejection and evaluating the applicant's response to a subject matter eligibility rejection (USPTO, Alexandria, Virginia) (2016).

  6. Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. 132 S. Ct. 1289 (2012).

  7. Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International. 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014)

  8. USPTO. Subject matter eligibility (USPTO, Alexandria, Virginia) (31 July 2017).

  9. Sherkow, J.S. & Greely, H.T. Annu. Rev. Genet. 49, 161–182 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Guerrini, C.J., Majumder, M.A. & McGuire, A.L. Nat. Biotechnol. 34, 145–147 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Feldman, R. Stanford Law Policy Rev. 26, 16–22 (2014).

    Google Scholar 

  12. Ledford, H. Nature 498, 281–282 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Holbrook, T.R. & Janis, M.D. UC Irvine L. Rev. 5, 973 (2015).

    Google Scholar 

  14. Aboy, M., Liddell, K., Liddicoat, J. & Crespo, C. Nat. Biotechnol. 34, 1119–1123 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Graff, G.D. et al. Nat. Biotechnol. 31, 404–410 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, The Senate, Canberra, Australia. Patent Amendment (Human Genes and Biological Materials) Bill 2010 (September 2011).

  17. Burk, D.L. Notre Dame Law Rev. 90, 505–542 (2016).

    Google Scholar 

  18. Rai, A.K. & Sherkow, J.S. Nat. Biotechnol. 34, 292–294 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. American Intellectual Property Law Association. AIPLA Legislative Proposal and Report on Patent Eligible Subject Matter (2017).

  20. Lundberg, S. Vol. 2016 Natl. Law Rev. (2016)

  21. Thambisetty, S. Intellectual Property Quarterly (in the press).

  22. Christie, A.F.D. et al. John Marshall Rev. Intellect. Prop. Law 16, 21–43 (2016).

    Google Scholar 

  23. Huys, I., Matthijs, G. & Van Overwalle, G. Nat. Rev. Genet. 13, 441–448 (2012).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. USPTO. Nature-based products (USPTO, Alexandria, Virginia) (16 December 2014).

  25. D'Arcy v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. 355 ALR 100 (2015).

  26. Jefferson, O.A., Köllhofer, D., Ehrich, T.H. & Jefferson, R.A. Nat. Biotechnol. 31, 1086–1093 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. Bubela, T. et al. Nat. Biotechnol. 31, 202–206 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mateo Aboy.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Aboy, M., Liddicoat, J., Liddell, K. et al. After Myriad, what makes a gene patent claim 'markedly different' from nature?. Nat Biotechnol 35, 820–825 (2017).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing