Gene Patent - Myriad Genetics Case

Myriad Genetics Case

Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics is a case challenging the validity of gene patents in the United States, specifically challenging certain claims in issued patents owned or controlled by Myriad Genetics that cover isolated DNA sequences, methods to diagnose propensity to cancer by looking for mutated DNA sequences, and methods to identify drugs using isolated DNA sequences.

The case was originally heard in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, which ruled that all the challenged claims were not patentable subject matter. Myriad then appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The Circuit court overturned the previous decision in part, ruling that isolated DNA which does not exist alone in nature can be patented and that the drug screening claims were valid, and confirmed in part, finding the diagnosic claims unpatentable. The plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court, which granted cert and remanded the case back to the Federal Circuit. The Federal Circuit did not change its opinion, so on September 25, 2012, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court with respect to the second Federal Circuit Decision. As of December 2012 isolated genes remain patentable in the US.

On November 30, 2012, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the plaintiffs' appeal of the Federal Circuit's ruling. It is anticipated that the court will rule on whether isolated genes are patentable.

Read more about this topic:  Gene Patent

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