Today's Wall Street Journal has an excellent article on the issues surrounding patents on medical tests. The crux of the discussion is whether tests that reveal how the human body reacts to illness and disease are patentable in the first place. Those on the Access to Medicine side of the discussion believe that these inventions are not patentable because they relate to both abstract ideas and laws of nature. The inventors of the tests and holders of the patents claim that their inventions are novel and encompass new inventive steps.
If you aren't familiar with the issues this article provides a concise presentation of the issues and upcoming events at the Supreme Court.