Technical Board of Appeal rejects Computer-implemented Invention in the field of Bioinformatics (T 784/06)

I just came across the very interesting decision T 784/06 of an EPO Technical Board of Appeal, relating to the rather new scientific discipline of bioinformatics, i.e. the application of computing and mainly statistical methods to DNA sequencing, e.g within the framework of the Human Genome Project. Not only that this decision presumably is the first bioinformatics case dealt with by a Technical Board of Appeal, it also demonstrates the EPO approach towards computer-implemented inventions (although with some "twists"), as presented in T 641/00 (Comvik, 1992) and recently confirmed in G 3/08 by the Enlarged Board of Appeals (see also here and here). Some supplementary information on patenting of bioinformatics inventions can be found on Originally filed and granted Claim 1 of EP 0 736 107 relates to a method of determining the genotype at a locus within genetic material obtained from a biological sample, the method comprising: reacting the material at the locus to produce a first reaction value indicative of the presence of a given allele at the locus; forming a data set including the first reaction value; establishing a distribution set of probability distributions, including at least one distribution, associating hypothetical reaction values with corresponding probabilities for each genotype of interest at the locus; applying the first reaction value to each pertinent probability distribution to determine a measure of the conditional probability of each genotype of interest at the locus; and determining the genotype based on the data obtained from step (D). An essentially parallel device claim 22 was directed to device for determining the genotype at a locus within genetic material obtained from a subject executing the method according to claim 1. Technical features: The proprietor (Beckman Coulter, Inc ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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