Intended for healthcare professionals


US Supreme Court is asked to rule on validity of patents on BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 02 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6624
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

The US Supreme Court has been asked to review the validity of patents on isolated human genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer, which campaigners and medical groups said stifle research and hamper women’s access to care.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Public Patent Foundation have filed a brief with the court asking it to look at whether patents held on BRCA1 and BRCA2 by a Utah company, Myriad Genetics, are valid.

“Laws of nature” and “products of nature” are not patentable under US law, and the ACLU has …

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