Supreme Court Ruling on Gene Patents

Capitol Connection

Supreme Court issues decision in major gene-patent case

June 20, 2013 | Author:The AAAS Policy Alert Team
Capitol Connection

The Supreme Court handed down its decision in Association of Molecular Pathology (AMP) v. Myriad Genetics (AMP v Myriad) on June 13.

There was unanimous agreement that simply isolating “genes and the information they encode” was not sufficient to make them patentable. The Court declared that genes are a “product of nature” and therefore not eligible to be patented. However, synthetic DNA with introns removed (cDNA) is patentable. The decision weakens the monopoly of Myriad Genetics while allowing genetic test development (including the use of whole genome sequencing) by biotechnology companies to continue without concerns of infringing on patents based on isolated DNA.

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