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Lab Corp. v. Metabolite

Docket No.: 04-607
Certiorari Granted: 11/2/2005
Argued: March 21, 2006
Decided: June 22, 2006

PartyNames: LABORATORY CORPORATION OF AMERICA HOLDINGS, dba LABCORP v. METABOLITE LABORATORIES, INC., et al.
Petitioner: Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, dba LabCorp
Respondent: Metabolite Laboratories, Inc., et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, dba LabCorp
v.
Metabolite Laboratories, Inc., et al.
548 U.S. 124 (2006)
Consideration Limited:

LIMITED TO QUESTION 3 PRESENTED BY THE PETITION. ORDER OF 11/2/05: Having been advised by the Chief Justice that he now realizes that he should have recused himself from participation in this case, and does now recuse himself, the Court vacates its order of Monday, October 31, 2005. The Court has reconsidered the petition for certiorari, which is granted but limited to question three as presented in the petition. The Chief Justice has not participated in the vote to withdraw the order of October 31, 2005 or in the instant reconsideration of the petition for certiorari.

Question Presented:

1. Whether liability can be imposed for willfully inducing patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. ยง 271(b) based solely on evidence that a party has disseminated a basic scientific fact to others.2. Whether an express limitation in a patent claim can be ignored so as to allow the patent to cover the exact opposite of what was claimed.3. Whether a method patent setting forth an indefinite, undescribed, and non-enabling step directing a party simply to "correlat[e]" test results can validly claim a monopoly over a basic scientific relationship used in medical treatment such that any doctor necessarily infringes the patent merely by thinking about the. relationship after looking at a test result.

Question:

Is it permissible to patent a correlational relationship in a medical test result, such that a doctor necessarily infringes on the patent simply by thinking about the relationship after looking at the test result?

Holding: dismissed
Vote: 8-0
Recused: The Chief Justice
Opinion By: Per Curiam
Read LAB CORP. V. METABOLITE opinion (PDF)
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