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US Supreme Court hears arguments in case of BRAC1 and BRAC2 patents

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2446 (Published 17 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2446
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on 15 April on whether human genes can be patented.

The case involves patents held by Myriad Genetics for the “breast cancer” genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, but the case could have widespread implications for the biotechnology industry.1

The patents on the genes owned by Myriad have given the company, which is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, a lucrative monopoly for BRCA testing.

The case was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Public Patent …

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