Supreme Court to Weigh In on Gene Patents

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On April 15, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. At issue is the eligibility of Myriad’s patent claims to isolated DNA encoding BRCA1 polypeptides. Individuals who inherit a mutated BRCA1 gene have an increased chance of developing certain cancers, particularly breast and ovarian cancers. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that Myriad’s claims to isolated DNA molecules qualify as patent-eligible compositions of matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

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