New York Court to Decide Whether Human Genes Can Be Patented

There is an interesting case developing in New York where a court is being asked to declare that companies cannot patent human genes. The case involves a patent claim by Myriad Genetics, and the University of Utah Research Foundation, In 1994, the company and foundation isolated the DNA sequence for the BRCA1 and later the BRCA2 genes — mutations that greatly increase a woman’s chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer. The patent protects a test that the company and foundation are selling to detect the genes.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the Public Patent Foundation, March of Dimes and the American Society for Human Genetics oppose the effort. They are asking Judge Robert Sweet to declare that such genes are a natural phenomenon and thus not patentable.

For the full story, click here.

7 thoughts on “New York Court to Decide Whether Human Genes Can Be Patented”

  1. Wives May Patent Husbands?
    RNA Or DNA Genes, Organisms, Should Not Be Patentable
    Organisms Should Not Be Patentable

    Key Cancer Patents Killed

    All organisms, regardless of size, natural or modified by humans, should not be patentable.

    Otherwise where is the limit???

    My wife of few years might yet apply to patent me…?!

    Dov Henis
    (Comments From The 22nd Century)
    03.2010 Updated Life Manifest

  2. Anybody here read Next by Michael Crichton? That was some funny scary stuff right there now.

    I apologize in advance if anyone here has a hybrid chimp/human son and does not find amusment in that kind of thing-along with really smart parrots and liver biopses.

    If any of these things have got you down know that we are thinking of you tonight.

  3. Of all the stories of this past week this to me is the most frightening. I’ve been in a Sci Fi marathon of readling lately,
    mostly Charles Stross and have found visions of the future that deal with this. With the increasing corporatization of our world and now possibly the ability to patent genetic changes/materiel, it is hard for and old fart like me to maintain a positive and hopeful attitude for my progeny and the future. I know change is an inevitable consequence of our existence, but there is no guarantee that the changed will be beneficial to us humans.

    Imagine the marketing possibilities entailed and the power bestowed on these patent holders and one sees a glum prospect. It is a sure bet that some nation or company will produced bio engineered soldiers leading to a new kind of arms race. There are genetic regeneration treatments involving stem cells and the heart that are quite promising and available to the wealthy. These treatments might possibly reduce my own disability and are offered in Germany and Thailand, to name a few places. My very good health insurance wouldn’t pay for this because FDA approval has not been given. I of course couldn’t personally afford it. I state this as an example of a futre where there is genetic patenting.

  4. With this SCOTUS?

    Soon gene won’t just be patentable, they’ll determine at birth what corporation owns you as chattel.

  5. The DNA and Genes are already patented and for some the royalties continue. It is called Child Support.

    In reality I do not see where a claim exists for someone to claim a patent on what can be considered biological.

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