The evolving role of biomarker patents in personalized medicine

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2014 Feb;95(2):127-9. doi: 10.1038/clpt.2013.185.


Patents are commonly granted for the use of biomarkers in making medical decisions. However, the US Supreme Court recently changed the landscape with a unanimous decision that patents cannot cover discoveries of basic correlations in nature, such as those relating biomarkers to particular clinical outcomes. Subsequent court decisions have overturned patents on genetic and other diagnostic methods involving purely mental processes, but processes integrating biomarkers in practical clinical steps can still earn intellectual property protections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers*
  • Humans
  • Jurisprudence
  • Patents as Topic / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Precision Medicine* / methods
  • Private Sector / legislation & jurisprudence
  • United States


  • Biomarkers