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…

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…

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…

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.

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,…

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...

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.

First Federal Court Hearing on Whether Human Genes Should Be Patented

By Selene Kaye, ACLU at 3:35pm
Plaintiffs, experts, and the ACLU and PUBPAT legal team outside the courthouse. Back row, from left to right: Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT; Robert Nussbaum, University of California,…
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