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.

VICTORY! Supreme Court Decides: Our Genes Belong to Us, Not Companies

VICTORY! Supreme Court Decides: Our Genes Belong to Us, Not Companies

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 11:35am
Should companies be able to patent human genes? Today, the Supreme Court answered that profound question with a resounding NO.
The Fight to Take Back Our Genes

Myriad Genetics’ Latest Attempt to Maintain Its Monopoly on Our Genes Rejected

By Sandra Park, ACLU at 11:02am

Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling invalidating patents on human genes.  The case was brought by the ACLU, along with the Public Patent Foundation, on behalf of 20medical organizations, geneticists, health advocacy groups,…

Remembering the Real Purpose of Patents

Remembering the Real Purpose of Patents

By James Evans, Bryson Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Medicine, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill School of Medicine at 10:44am

James Evans, MD, PhD is the Bryson Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He was a member of the advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services on…

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…

James Watson, Discoverer of DNA:  Patenting Human Genes Is “Lunacy”

James Watson, Discoverer of DNA: Patenting Human Genes Is “Lunacy”

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 12:11pm

Recently, Dr. James Watson filed an amicus brief opposing gene patents in our lawsuit challenging the patents on two human genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Dr. Watson, along with Francis Crick, identified DNA’s ability…

Human Gene Patents Struck Down: Reactions from the Plaintiffs

Human Gene Patents Struck Down: Reactions from the Plaintiffs

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 4:18pm

For the last four years, I've had the honor of representing 20 amazing organizations and individuals in our challenge to human gene patents. They include: leading organizations of pathologists and geneticists; scientists, physicians, and genetic counselors…

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...

Hands Off My Genes

Hands Off My Genes

By Rachel Marshall, Washington Legislative Office at 5:21pm

Most teenagers don't sit around contemplating the need for genetic testing. They may not even know the purpose of genetic testing. That all changed for me when I was 13, shortly after my baby brother celebrated his first birthday. He was diagnosed…

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…

Supreme Court: Liberate the Human Genome!

Supreme Court: Liberate the Human Genome!

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 1:14pm

Today, we asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appellate court’s 2-1 ruling upholding patents on two human genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.  The case challenges patents that pose a serious barrier to using…

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