In our May 16, 2013 blog article entitled, Would You Like A Patent With Your Genetically Modified Baby?, we detailed how Myriad Genetics obtained patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 human genes. In doing so, Myriad Genetics gained the exclusive rights relative to these vital genes, that indicate a significantly increased hereditary risk in developing ovarian or breast cancer. The Association For Molecular Pathology legally contested the right of Myriad Genetics to hold such patents and exclusive rights, by litigating the issue all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Today the US Supreme Court in the case of Association For Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, ruled that said patents were invalid. Essentially the court found that by Myriad Genetics separating and identifying these genes, that in and of itself did not warrant the grant of a patent. The court appeared to acknowledge the need for unrestrained research of the BRCA genes and that the granting of exclusive rights contradicted the public good.
This decision marks a significant blow to the Biotech industry and a victory for the people. Perhaps the lower courts, including the US Court of Appeals that ruled in favor of Monsanto in the case of Organic Seed Growers and Trade v. Monsanto (See our June 10, 2013 article), will now utilize the Supreme Court's logic and sensibility in their own future cases.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.