Medindia

X

Patents on Genes Linked to Breast Cancer Struck Down by Federal Judge

by Thilaka Ravi on  March 31, 2010 at 1:34 PM Medico Legal News   - G J E 4
A federal judge in New York struck down patents on two genes linked to breast cancer in a ruling that could have far-reaching effects on genetics in the biotech industry, if upheld.
Patents on Genes Linked to Breast Cancer Struck Down by Federal Judge
Patents on Genes Linked to Breast Cancer Struck Down by Federal Judge
Advertisement

In a 152-page ruling on Monday, Judge Robert Sweet made invalid seven patents that involve the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, mutations of which are linked to breast cancer. The patents are held by Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah.

Advertisement
The judge concluded in part that the patents should not have been awarded because they were essentially on products of nature not resulting from human action.

"The patents issued by the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) are directed to a law of nature and were therefore improperly granted," he ruled in part.

A lawsuit had dated from May 2009, and was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Public Patent Foundation in cooperation with groups representing patients and medical groups.

Plaintiffs argued that genes were outside the scope of intellectual property protection, and unduly complicated research.

Myriad Genetics had asked the court to throw our the suit arguing that the expertise and the effort required to isolate DNA justified the granting of a patent.

Similar patents have been around for some time. The Supreme Court upheld granting protection of rights over living organisms in 1980.

The impact of the ruling is potentially great: about 20 percent of all human genes are subject to patent protection in a business that moves billions of dollars.

Source: AFP
THK
Advertisement

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

Advertisement
View All