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.

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.

Barbara Brenner, 1951-2013

Barbara Brenner, 1951-2013

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 11:00am

The ACLU mourns the loss of a great leader, tenacious activist, and close friend of the organization. Barbara Brenner, the longtime director of Breast Cancer Action ("BCA"), was a frequent and trusted ACLU collaborator – as an employee at the ACLU…

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…

Take Back Our Genes – Join the Fight Against Gene Patenting

Take Back Our Genes – Join the Fight Against Gene Patenting

We can bring an end to gene patenting to ensure the human genome, and all DNA found in nature, is open to everyone for the benefit of everyone – not just corporate profits.

ACLU Asks Supreme Court to Hear Gene Patents Case

ACLU Asks Supreme Court to Hear Gene Patents Case

By Sarah Roberts, Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 5:49pm

Today, the ACLU petitioned the Supreme Court to hear our case challenging patents on two human genes related to breast and ovarian cancer.

The case, Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. vs. Myriad Genetics, et al., was filed in 2009…

Who Owns Your Genes? You Do.

Who Owns Your Genes? You Do.

By Selene Kaye, ACLU at 5:18pm

On Monday, federal district court Judge Robert Sweet made history by issuing the first ruling ever that human genes can’t be patented.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has been issuing patents on human genes for over 20 years,…

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...

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…

Exclusive Patents on the BRCA Genes: Adding Burden to an Already Overburdened Cancer Community

Exclusive Patents on the BRCA Genes: Adding Burden to an Already Overburdened Cancer Community

By Sue Friedman, Executive Director, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE)

As part of the ACLU's Taking Back Our Genes campaign , guest blogger Sue Friedman, the Executive Director of FORCE, describes the adverse impact the exclusive…

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