The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (the “CIPO”) has recently received criticism regarding its policy on diagnostic method patents. A diagnostic method outlines a sequence of steps to be followed to extract diagnostic meaning from data. For example, ascertaining the presence of a disease due to a correlation with a particular analyte falls under the umbrella of diagnostic methods. It is being argued here and here that the CIPO is unlawfully rejecting patent applications directed to diagnostic methods where the inventive feature is a new correlation between a known analyte and a disease. In contrast, the CIPO accepts as patentable diagnostic methods where the inventive feature is the analyte itself or a new means for detecting the analyte.
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