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Gene Patent Court Decision

By March 31, 2010December 18th, 2023Awareness, Science & Research

In an important decision, Judge Robert Sweet of the U.S. District Court issued a ruling Monday that invalidated the patents for two key genes involved in breast and ovarian cancer.   The Judge concluded that Myriad Genetics patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes were not valid, writing that they circumvented a prohibition against patenting human DNA.

While much of the press has focused on the chilling effect this may have on gene discovery research, we applaud the Judge’s ruling which will keep gene discovery in the public domain.  As sequencing the human genome gets cheaper in the coming years, this ruling, if it survives appeal, will prevent patent holders from protecting vast swaths of the genetic code unless license fees are paid.

The full ruling can be read on the NY Times site at: