eCite Digital Repository

The continuing saga of patents and non‐invasive prenatal testing


Hawkins, N and Nicol, D and Chandrasekharan, S and Cook-Deegan, R, The continuing saga of patents and non‐invasive prenatal testing, Prenatal Diagnosis, 39, (6) pp. 441-447. ISSN 0197-3851 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1002/pd.5450


Objective This paper examines the Intellectual Property (IP) landscape for non‐invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) in three key regions: the United States; Europe, with particular focus on the United Kingdom; and Australia.

Method We explore the patent law issues against the commercial and healthcare environment in these regions and consider the implications for development and implementation of NIPT.

Results There are many patents held by many parties internationally, with litigation over these patents ongoing in many countries. Importantly, there are significant international differences in patent law, with patents invalidated in the USA that remain valid in Europe. Despite the many patents and ongoing litigation, there are multiple providers of testing internationally, and patents do not appear to be preventing patient access to testing for those who can pay out of pocket.

Conclusion The patent situation in NIPT remains in a state of flux, with uncertainty about how patent rights will be conferred in different jurisdictions, and how patents might affect clinical access. However, patents are unlikely to result in a monopoly for a single provider, with several providers and testing technologies, including both public and private sector entities, likely to remain engaged in delivery of NIPT. However, the effects on access in public healthcare systems are more complex and need to be monitored.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:patent, non-invasive prenatal testing
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Private law and civil obligations
Research Field:Intellectual property law
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Law reform
UTAS Author:Nicol, D (Professor Dianne Nicol)
ID Code:133264
Year Published:2019
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP180101262)
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2019-06-20
Last Modified:2020-08-21
Downloads:22 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page