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Idexx Laboratories Inc. v. Charles River Laboratories Inc.

Representative Claim(s)

U.S. Patent No. 9,927,298

  1. A method of determining a presence or absence of an infectious disease in a population of rodents, the method comprising:

(a) providing a plurality of blood collection cards to a user responsible for a population of animals;

(b) providing instructions to the user comprising the following:

(i) draw blood from an individual rodent;

(ii) apply the blood to one of the plurality of blood collection cards;

(iii) allow the blood sample to dry on the collection card;

(iv) repeat steps i, ii, and iii at least once to provide the plurality of blood collection cards spotted with blood from a plurality of members from the population of rodents; and

(v) transport the plurality of collection cards to a laboratory as a single unit;

(c) receiving the plurality of collection cards as a single unit from the user,

(d) extracting dried blood from the cards;

(e) analyzing the extracted blood for a presence or absence of at least one biological marker for an infectious agent indicative of an infectious disease, thereby determining the presence or absence of the infectious disease in the population; and

(f) reporting the results of the presence or absence of the infectious disease to the user.

U.S. Patent No. 8,945,945

  1. A method of determining a presence or absence of an infectious disease in a population of rodents, the method comprising:

(a) providing instructions to a user responsible for a population of animals comprising the following:

(i) draw blood from an individual rodent;

(ii) apply the blood to one of a plurality of blood collection cards;

(iii) allow the blood sample to dry on the collection card;

(iv) repeat steps i, ii, and iii at least once to provide the plurality of blood collection cards spotted with blood from a plurality of members from the population of rodents; and

(v) transport the plurality of collection cards to a laboratory as a single unit;

(b) receiving the plurality of collection cards as a single unit from the user,

(c) extracting dried blood from the cards;

(d) conducting an immunoassay for analyzing the extracted blood for a presence or absence of at least one antibody for an infectious agent indicative of an infectious disease, thereby determining the presence or absence of the infectious disease in the population; and

(e) reporting the results of the presence or absence of the infectious disease to the user

U.S. Patent No. 9,040,308

  1. A method of determining a presence or absence of an infectious disease in a population of rodents, the method comprising:

(a) receiving a plurality of blood collection cards from a user responsible for a population of rodents, wherein the blood collection cards have at least one spot of dried rodent blood;

(b) extracting the blood from the cards;

(c) conducting an immunoassay for analyzing the extracted blood for a presence or absence of at least one antibody for an infectious agent indicative of an infectious disease, thereby determining the presence or absence of the infectious disease in the rodent population; and

(d) reporting the results of the presence or absence of the infectious disease to the user.

Posture:

Motion to dismiss.

Exception Category: Abstract Idea

“[T]he steps of claim 1 are directed to the abstract idea of collecting, analyzing, and reporting results.”

“The claimed method’s reliance on technology does not, by itself, confer eligibility.”

“While there is always a risk of ‘oversimplif[ying]’ claims in a way that ‘downplay[s] the invention’s benefits,’ the representative claim at issue here is not ‘unambiguously’ directed to a specific improvement. Instead, the abstract idea predominates each step of the claim. Thus, while the claim may implement the abstract idea in a specific and novel way, the ‘character [of the claims] as a whole is directed to excluded subject matter.’”

Significantly More: Yes

“Here, DBS and immunoassay are not generic components which serve only to ‘limit the use of [the idea] to a particular technological environment.’ Rather, when examined as an ordered combination of limitations, they describe a specific, novel implementation of the abstract idea of collecting, analyzing, and reporting.”

“The representative claim includes the inventive concept of using DBS technology to monitor the health of rodent populations by analyzing blood for biomarkers of infectious disease.”

“The advances over the prior art are clear. The invention permits one to monitor the health of rodent populations without euthanizing animals, waiting for blood to clot in a centrifuge, or shipping blood serum overnight in a refrigerated container. This inventive concept is sufficient to ‘transform the abstract idea . . . into a patent-eligible application of that idea.’”