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by Edward R. Ergenzinger, Jr. and W. Murray Spruill, Alston & Bird, LLP Patents on genes and proteins might be severely ? even retroactively ? affected and lose significant value if the Supreme Court upholds the Appeals Court ruling in the Festo case. Applicants seeking patents may be required to make and test thousands of functional variants and describe them all in patent specifications to claim them. The Supreme Court decision is anticipated this summer.