I sent the following questions to I.R. at GHDX:
"As an investor in Genomic Health, I'm wondering how the recent Supreme Court ruling will potentially affect any proprietary intellectual property that Genomic Health currently owns. And, will this ruling open the door for any genomic company to offer a similar type of OncoDx test for substantially less cost, thereby affecting the company's revenue? I realize the competitive landscape is constantly changing. How is Genomic Health positioned to be a leader in this arena?"
Whittier, why don’t you simply do a search of the US patents to see if Genomic has tried to patent a gene… Techniques for examining genes are different from the genes themselves. If Genomic were into cloning (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc.) then you might need to worry about the Supreme Court’s ruling but that shouldn’t be the issue for Genomic. Of course, it would be nice to read IR’s answer to your question; hopefully you worded it in a way that will result in an answer. I’ve tried to mail many Investor Relations groups and only seen a few attempt to answer my question.
I"m clear that GHDX is not in the business of owning patents related to genes, and that techniques for examining genes are different from the genes themselves. But, GHDX is in the business of mapping the genomes of specific types of cancer cells and identifying which predominant cancer cells are most susceptible to specific treatments, and which cancers are likely to mestastasize, given their genetic profile. This field is rapidly expanding and there's obviously room for more players.
I don't think they will have much to say. I've read the court decision, as well as those by the lower courts, and this decision seems very narrow. I believe it leaves out any direction on the patentability of gene array tests as GHDX offers. Genomic Health's "invention" is a predictability score. I see no reason why this shouldn't still be protected.