Also on February 28, 2005, after five conferencesin Laboratory Corporation of America v. Metabolite Laboratories, the Supreme Court asked the Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the views of the United States on the following question:
Respondent's patent claims a method for detecting a form of vitamin B deficiency, which focuses upon a correlation in the human body between elevated levels of certain amino acids and deficient levels of vitamin B. The method consists of the following: First, measure the level of the relevant amino acids using any device, whether the device is, or is not, patented; second, notice whether the amino acid level is elevated and, if so, conclude that a vitamin B deficiency exists. Is the patent invalid because one cannot patent "laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas"? Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U.S. 175, 185 (1981).