Morag Peberdy

Morag Peberdy is Of Counsel in the London office of Covington & Burling LLP.  Following a first degree from Oxford University in Biological Sciences and working for Oxford University Press on the European Molecular Biology Journal, Ms Peberdy became an intellectual property lawyer specialising in the life science sector.  Ms Peberdy works with diagnostics, medical device and pharma clients on a range of contentious and non-contentious patent, trade mark and trade secret matters.  She also regularly advises on life science contractual disputes such as patent royalty litigation and breaches of R&D agreements. Ms Peberdy sits on the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee of the UK BioIndustry Association, and is ranked in Legal 500 UK for both her intellectual property and pharmaceutical/biotech expertise.  

In June, the US Supreme Court issued its opinion in the Myriad case (Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics Inc.). The Supreme Court had been asked a seemingly simple question: “Are human genes patentable?”, and concluded that naturally occurring gene sequences are no longer patentable in the US. In Europe, isolated gene sequences are still patentable, under certain conditions. However, the differences between the two legal regimes are not as stark as might initially appear, and the practical effect for the diagnostics industry is complex.