The ruling focuses on how having a different arrangement of bonds in the DNA that is isolated is enough to distinguish it in its natural state. But the court was faced with briefs that suggested this was a dangerous line of reasoning, since elements like lithium are reactive enough that they only exist naturally as part of a chemical compound. Does this mean that someone can patent pure lithium? The court indicated the answer is no, because "elemental lithium is the same element whether it is in the earth or isolated." That would also seem to be true of a gene whether it is in the body or isolated, as the dissent pointed out; the decision doesn't elaborate on where it sees a difference.