Battle Brewing Over the BRCA1/2 Gene Patents
Revista de derecho y genoma humano = Law and the human genome review / Cátedra de Derecho y Genoma Humano/Fundación BBV-Diputación Foral de Bizkaia 2010 Jul-Dec(33): 171-94
The revolutionary discovery of DNA and the successful mapping of the human genome have allowed scientists worldwide to engage in unprecedented research on the cutting-edge biomedical technology such as genetic engineering (gene-splicing or recombinant DNA). However, as is often the case with modern biotechnologies, gene-related innovation is heavily dependent on strong patent protection, primarily due to the high costs of research and commercialisation in this area. The aim of this paper is to provide a description of the District Court Ruling in the case of Association for Molecular Pathology et al v United States Patent and Trademark Office et al (ACLU v Myriad). In doing so, the article provides information on the relevant background at issues, including a brief introduction to general patentability requirements in relation to genes and the controversy surrounding the patentability of genetic material. The analysis of the complaint filed in the ACLU v Myriad case and the details of the District Court Ruling follows. The paper concludes with an outlook of the future legal actions involving Myriad's BRCA1/2 and the assessment of the potential impact that the BRCA1/2 District Court Ruling and subsequent appeal(s) may have on the American patent law.
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