The High Court has refused to allow a patent claim to an isolated gene.
Despite 6 judges below agreeing that the claims were patentable, the 7 member High Court has held that the claims are not a manner of manufacture within the meaning of section 6 of the Statute of Monopolies and section 18 Patents Act.
French CJ, Kiefel, Bell & Keane JJ (and Gordon J separately) seem to have been persuaded largely by arguments of high policy, namely the need to avoid gene patenting having a ‘chilling effect’ on medical procedures and innovation. , , -. The majority also emphasised that the claims, properly understood, concentrated on the genetic information rather than the chemical composition or any method of creating the product. . This was observed to be in accordance with the approach taken by the US Supreme Court to the same patent application.