Archives for 2013

Who owns your genes? Supreme Court Decision

 SCOTUS Decision on Breast Cancer Gene Patent – Genes Cannot Be Patented
June 13, 2013  Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision in Association of Molecular Biology v. Myriad Genetics, in which plaintiffs challenged the validity of gene patents held by Myriad on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are closely correlated with increased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.  At issue in the case was whether the genes are “products of nature,” and therefore not patentable, or “products of human ingenuity,” which are eligible for patent protection.  The Patent and Trademark Office has issued thousands of gene patents in the past and these patents have been routinely upheld by the Court of Claims, which is the federal appeals court that specializes in intellectual property law.  The Court of Claims had held that the BRCA gene patents were valid in this case, but that decision was reversed today by SCOTUS.  http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-398_8njq.pdf