The Supreme Court's ruling that genes cannot be patented could spur competition to develop genetic tests. Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.
The Supreme Court's ruling Thursday (June 13) that genes cannot be patented sets a precedent that products found in nature do not constitute intellectual property. Here are five things to know about the ruling.
1. What the ruling means.
The unanimous gene-patent ruling specifically invalidated five patents held by the company Myriad Genetics Inc. related to two genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 linked to an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Justice Clarence Thomas said, "We hold that a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent-eligible merely because it has been isolated."
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