BRCA

The U.S. Supreme Court is about to decide whether a private company can own a part of your body.

Currently, a company called Myriad Genetics “owns” two genes known as BRCA 1 and BRCA2 –or Breast Cancer 1 and Breast Cancer 2. Women with certain mutations in these genes have a strong chance of getting breast or ovarian cancer.

This has very dangerous implications for women’s health, and it’s illegal. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of these gene patents. On April 15, 2013, the ACLU argued the case before the U.S. Supreme Court. We expect a decision this summer.

Read more about BRCA on our FAQ page here.

Breast Cancer, Patenting Human Genes, and Your Civil Liberties

By Selene Kaye, ACLU at 8:01pm
On Tuesday evening, Joanna Rudnick joined the ACLU at Tribeca Cinemas to screen her award-winning documentary film, In the Family, and discuss the patenting of human genes, a practice that has serious implications for women like Joanna who have a genetic predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer. You can see photos from the event here.
Today's the Day: Challenging Human Gene Patents Before the Supreme Court

Today's the Day: Challenging Human Gene Patents Before the Supreme Court

By Sandra Park, ACLU at 10:16am

Today, we're headed to the U.S. Supreme Court for oral argument in our challenge to human gene patents...

Voices on Human Gene Patents: It's Time to Free Our Genes

Voices on Human Gene Patents: It's Time to Free Our Genes

By Christopher E. Mason, Assistant Professor of Computational Genomics, Weill Cornell Medical College, Affiliate Fellow, Information Society Project of Yale Law School & Jeffrey Rosenfeld, Assistant Professor of Medicine, New Jersey Medical School at 12:29pm

Even though they’ve been in our families since the dawn of man, our genes do not belong to us. They’ve been claimed by companies that hold patents on the DNA from our cells. Over the past 20 years, at least 41 percent of our genes have become the…

Are Genes Patentable? An Insider's Review of the ACLU's Supreme Court Argument on Gene Patenting

Are Genes Patentable? An Insider's Review of the ACLU's Supreme Court Argument on Gene Patenting

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project at 2:01pm

In honor of DNA Day, celebrated on April 25, the ACLU gives you an insider's take on our Supreme Court Argument on gene patenting.

Are human genes patentable? That is the question at issue in AMP v. Myriad Genetics, which the ACLU argued before…

Filmmaker Joanna Rudnick on Life with the “Breast Cancer Gene” and Human Gene Patenting

Filmmaker Joanna Rudnick on Life with the “Breast Cancer Gene” and Human Gene Patenting

By Joanna Rudnick, Activist, Filmmaker at 1:19pm

In the Family (POV 2008) tells the first-person story of director Joanna Rudnick as she tries to decide on a course of action after testing positive for the BRCA1 mutation, the "breast cancer gene." To raise public awareness of the issues being presented…

Who Invented Your Genes?

Who Invented Your Genes?

By Sandra Park, ACLU at 10:25am

Who invented our genes? There are many possible answers to this question, but I'm pretty sure your answer wouldn't be, "Myriad Genetics."

But that question is at the heart of our ongoing challenge to patents Myriad controls on two human genes…

My Genes Are My Own

My Genes Are My Own

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, patent law was the last thing on my mind. Then again, I didn’t know that one company could have an exclusive right to the genetic information that could save my life.

Voices on Human Gene Patents: Gene Discovery, Patents, and the Community

Voices on Human Gene Patents: Gene Discovery, Patents, and the Community

By Sue Friedman, DVM, Founder, Executive Director, FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered at 11:32am

Recently a dear friend sent me a link to an article in the February 1996 issue of Nature Medicine. The article...

Today We Take Back Our Genes

Today We Take Back Our Genes

By Alicia Gay, ACLU at 12:59pm

Today the ACLU is launching a campaign to illustrate the personal harms of gene patenting by showcasing those who have been or may be directly impacted by this practice.

Statistics image