23andMe Loses Appeal Court Unpatentability for Identifying Relatives Against Ancestry #dna

Jan Meisels Allen




23AndMe sued Ancestry in a federal court in 2018 for infringement on its patents that describes a method of analyzing “identical by descent” regions of the genome and determining the degree to which two people in their database are related. In August 2108 that court found that the claim was “patent-ineligible” because they do not relate to any “inventive, unconventional technique’ related to their discovery or application.  Last week, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the lower court ruling, finding against 23andMe who had appealed the lower court’s decision. The August 2018 ruling by U.S. District Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco, that was upheld invalidated 23andMe’s patent because it was directed to a “law of nature” that cannot be patented.


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Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



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