Supreme Court rules against patenting human genesSubmitted by bobbyw24 on Thu, 06/13/2013 - 11:47
In a decision that could undo thousands of questionable patents, freeing scientists and citizens from corporate overreach, the Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that human genes—as products of nature—cannot be claimed as private property.
The Thursday morning decision—in Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. United States Patent and Trademark Office, et al.—focused on Myriad Genetics, a Utah-based biotech company that claimed the rights to two naturally occurring genes that foster breast and ovarian cancer when they carry certain mutations. Scientists at Myriad identified the two genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, during the early 1990s and went on to develop and market tests that women can use to determine their own risk.