John Ben DeVette's Blog

Thoughts experiences & learnings about the world of academic publishing …

PATENT to Human Genome Ruled INVALID – Major Victory for the PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE MOVEMENT

A new ruling by the New York federal court declared illegal and invalid the Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation owned patents to the BRCA genes . The patent was restricting both scientific research and patients’ access to medical care. The lawsuit filed by ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation argued that patents on human genes violate the First Amendment and patent law because genes are “products of nature.”

20% of the 2000 human genes (gene maps) have already been patented. These patents prevent anyone from further research into the patented gene without permission or paying a royalty to the patent owner. All existing gene patents will likely be reviewed, and many overturned.

BRCA genes are known to be associated with hereditary breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Myriad & Univ of Utah’s patent to the BRCA gene was severely limiting competitive research into the causes of breast cancer and the development of new methods for detection and prevention of breast cancer.

Daniel B. Ravicher, Executive Director of PUBPAT and co-counsel in the lawsuit said: “No one invented genes. Inventions are specific tests or drugs, which can be patented, but genes are not inventions.”

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30 March 2010 - Posted by | Patent Copyright Intellectual Property IP, Scholarly Communication | , , , , ,

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