13 June 2013

Supreme Court says human genes cannot be patented & Natural DNA Cannot Be Patented, Supreme Court Rules 13JUN13

THIS is a great victory for everyone, the Supremes got this one right, thank God!!!! And thank you ACLU!!! A bit of history on this issue can be found at  I don't have long to live. Take Back Your Genes. 4JUN13

By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, June 13, 10:42 AM

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court says companies cannot patent human genes, a decision that could profoundly affect the medical and biotechnology industries.
In a unanimous decision, the court struck down patents held by Myriad Genetics Inc. on two genes linked to increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Opponents say patent protection shouldn’t be given to something that can be found inside the human body.
But lower courts approved, saying Myriad’s genes could be patented because the DNA it isolated and took from the body has a “markedly different chemical structure” from DNA found naturally within the body.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the DNA is a product of nature and not eligible for a patent merely because it has been isolated.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Natural DNA Cannot Be Patented, Supreme Court Rules

In a decision that could have broad-reaching effects on the future of science and medicine, the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that:
— "A naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated."
— But, synthetically created "strands of nucleotides known as composite DNA (cDNA)" are "patent eligible" because they do not occur naturally.
The case, as NPR's Nina Totenberg has reported, revolved around Myriad Genetics, a Utah biotechnology company that:
"Discovered and isolated two genes — BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 — that are highly associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Myriad patented its discovery, giving it a 20-year monopoly over use of the genes for research, diagnostics and treatment. A group of researchers, medical groups and patients sued, challenging the patent as invalid."
The court's unanimous decision Thursday, Reuters writes, was "a mixed ruling. ... The nine justices reached a compromise by saying synthetically produced genetic material can be patented but that genes extracted from the human body, known as isolated DNA, do not merit the same legal protections."
Writing for the court, Justice Clarence Thomas says that "we merely hold that genes and the information they encode are not patent eligible ... because they have been isolated from the surrounding genetic material."
Watch for more on the decision and its ramifications on The Shots blog.