US Supreme Court Reverses Myriad Decision Allowing Gene Patents

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The United States Supreme Court yesterday threw out a high-profile case that had allowed a private company’s patents on two human genes associated with cancer.

The US highest court remanded the case, Molecular Pathology v. Myriad, back to the Federal Circuit for further consideration, especially in light of the high court’s decision last week on Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories (IPW, IP Law, 21 March 2012).

Intellectual Property Watch reported on the earlier federal appeals court decision here (IPW, IP Law, 2 August 2011).

The Public Patent Foundation (PubPat) brought the case along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), challenging the patents held by Myriad Genetics on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

PubPat yesterday issued a release here. It said the case involves genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer and that the reversed decision had limited access to life-saving genetic tests for at-risk women.

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