Writ of Certiorari Dismissed: Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings v. Metabolite Laboratories, Inc.
Last week, the Supreme Court dismissed a writ of certiorari with respect to LabCorp v. Metabolite as improvidently granted. The petition for certiorari from LabCorp was originally granted to resolve the question of whether a method patent directing a party simply to correlate test results could validly claim a monopoly over a basic scientific relationship? In other words, were the claims invalid in light of the "law of nature" principle, which provides that laws of nature and mathematical relationships are not patentable?
With news of this dismissal, many in the world of patent practice breathed a sigh of relief, as evidenced by the reactions of the IP blogosphere (see commentary at Patently-O, The Patent Prospector, PHOSITA, and IP Litigation Blog). This case could have resulted in some significant changes to what is deemed patentable subject matter under U.S. law . . . especially with respect to business method patents.
For further reading and light entertainment, check out the 15-page dissenting opinion here.