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Friday, 30 November 2012
Supreme Court To Decide Patentability of Human Genes
On November 30, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court grantedcertiorari in Assn for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., No.
12-398. In that case, the plaintiffs
challenge the eligibility of Myriad’s patents covering isolated human gene
sequences corresponding to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which when mutated are associated with
a high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, and diagnostic processes
using the genes. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in August
that Myriad’s patent claims covering isolated genes were patent-eligible under Mayo
Collaborative Services v. Prometheus, Inc., 566 U.S. ___, 132 S.Ct. 1289
(2012). See Assn. for Molecular Pathology v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,
689 F.3d 1303 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 16, 2012).
The Court's grant of certiorari is limited to
a single question presented in the plaintiffs’ petition: