Myriad Genetics - Legislation and Litigation

Legislation and Litigation

Myriad Genetics is a defendant in the case Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics (formerly Association For Molecular Pathology et al. v. United States Patent and Trademark Office et al.). Lawyers at the ACLU serve as counsel for the plaintiffs. In the suit, medical associations, doctors, and patients sued Myriad Genetics for its United States patents on genes related to breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The defendants' motions to dismiss were denied on November 1, 2009.

Parts of the company's patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes were ruled invalid on March 29, 2010 by Judge Robert W. Sweet in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Myriad filed a notice of appeal on June 16, 2010 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The Federal Circuit decided on 29 July 2011 that the genes were eligible for patents.

On December 7, 2011, the ACLU filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. On March 26, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the petition for is granted. The judgment is vacated now, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for further consideration in light of Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. in which more restrictive rules for patenting were demanded.

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    The laboring man and the trade-unionist, if I understand him, asks only equality before the law. Class legislation and unequal privilege, though expressly in his favor, will in the end work no benefit to him or to society.
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    The laboring man and the trade-unionist, if I understand him, asks only equality before the law. Class legislation and unequal privilege, though expressly in his favor, will in the end work no benefit to him or to society.
    William Howard Taft (1857–1930)