Blog – Gene Patents Ruled Invalid

Posted: April 4, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Story Summary: Next, lets look again at whether its proper to patent software, which is merely the reduction of a mental process. We will never know what is not discovered or not invented when factors affecting human motivation are changed. For your information, the BRCA1 gene was discovered in an academic lab (at Berkeley), funded by tax payers money. Dr. Mary Claire King made the initial discovery, and after that the other BRCA genes were also identified. Companies jumped into the fray, and patented things, but mostly on legal technicalities. Dr. Mary Claire King is now at the University of Washington. Myriads critics have long argued that they give the company a monopoly over this type of genetic screening, allowing it to keep prices high–the test costs more than $3000, despite continual decreases in the cost of genomic analysis tools–and preventing women from seeking confirmatory tests from other sources. Because the ACLUs lawsuit challenges the whole notion of gene patenting, its outcome could have far-reaching effects beyond the patents on the BRCA genes. The overall tone of the Courts ruling is best captured by this passage (from page 135):The identification of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene sequences is unquestionably a valuable scientific achievement for which Myriad deserves recognition, but that is not the same as concluding that it is something for which they are entitled to a patent. Its not yet clear how it will affect the market for BRCA screening. Its not yet clear how it will affect the market for BRCA screening. For the moment, however, we do not foresee this decision producing any radical changes in commercial, clinical or other activity surrounding Myriads BRCA patents, or gene patents more broadly, Vorhaus wrote in his post. For the moment, however, we do not foresee this decision producing any radical changes in commercial, clinical or other activity surrounding Myriads BRCA patents, or gene patents more broadly, Vorhaus wrote in his post….Read the Full Story

Related posts:

  1. Slashdot | Breast Cancer Gene Lawsuit Argues Patents Invalid
  2. In The Challenge Of Gene Patents, The Association For Molecular Pathology Joins ACLU
  3. ACLU wants patents on gene tests declared unconstitutional – Ars Technica


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