US High Court: Human Genes Not Patentable

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that companies cannot patent human genes in their natural state. Patients’ rights groups are calling the decision a victory. The court, however, left room to protect patents on key biotechnology applications.

Myriad Genetics identified genes that raise a patient’s risk for breast and ovarian cancer. The company lifted those genes from the full set of genetic information that makes up a human being, and patented them. That gave Myriad exclusive rights over …

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