In this decision from 1983, the New Zealand Court of Appeal considered methods of treatment of humans to not constitute patentable inventions.
Exclusions from patentability
Pharmaceutical Management Agency Limited v Commissioner of Patents,  (New Zealand Court of Appeal (NZCA) 330)
The Court ruled that New Zealand is bound by the TRIPS Agreement that obliges it to provide patent protection for all inventions, without discrimination. In the view of the Court, claims on the use of a known compound for the manufacture of pharmaceutical compositions in which the compound exhibits previously unknown therapeutic activity are inventions.
Decision on treatment by surgery/Medi-Physics, G-1/7 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, European Patent Office, 15 February 2010)
The Enlarged Board of Appeal decided that the presence of one surgical step in a multi-step method is sufficient to exclude the method from patentability. The exclusion of methods of surgery is not limited to a therapeutic purpose.
Decision on Diagnostic methods (G-1/04) (European Patent Office, Enlarged Board of Appeal, 16 December 2005)
The Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) decided that as a matter of principle, a European patent is to be granted for an invention which meets the patentability criteria, and, as such, the principle of a narrow interpretation is to apply to clauses excluding patentability, for instance of diagnostic methods. For a method to be considered a diagnostic method, it must include all the steps relating to it. There is no diagnostic method if one of the steps is lacking.
On 1 April 2013, the Supreme Court of India confirmed the rejection by the Indian Patent Office of a patent application filed by Swiss drug maker Novartis on the anti-cancer medicament “Glivec”. The Supreme Court considered that Glivec did not qualify as a patentable “invention” under Section 3 (d) of the Indian Patents Act.
Mayo Collaborative Services, et al. v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc (Supreme Court of the United States, 566 U. S., 2012.)
The Supreme Court of the United States decided that:
EISAI/Second medical indication G 05/83 [1979-85] EPOR B241 (1985) (European Patent Office, Enlarged Board of Appeal)
The Enlarged Board of Appeal decided on the 5th December 1984 on the question of novelty and second medical indications. It held that a patent must not be granted for claims directed to the use of a substance or composition for the treatment of the human or animal body by therapy. However, a patent may be granted with claims directed to the use of a substance or composition for the manufacture of a medicament for a specified new and inventive therapeutic application (“Swiss claim”).
In this case, the Australian Federal Court addressed the patentability of methods of treatment of the human body, how novelty can be destroyed and what amounts to secondary infringement.