Gene Patenting

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 intellectual property of corporations. These patent claims contradict an intuitive sense that our DNA is no less ours than our lungs or kidneys. More importantly, these patents, covering thousands of human genes, restrict our doctors’ ability to look at our DNA and plan ahead for our medical treatment.
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...

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…

Voices on Human Gene Patents: 7 Days Until the Supreme Court

Voices on Human Gene Patents: 7 Days Until the Supreme Court

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:37am

On April 15, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on a deceptively short question: Are human genes patentable? While the question's phrasing may be succinct and simple, the implications of the Court's answer are vast and critical. On behalf of researchers,…

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…

Are Human Genes Patentable? Supreme Court Will Decide

Are Human Genes Patentable? Supreme Court Will Decide

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 3:54pm

Today, the Supreme Court granted our petition seeking review of an appellate court’s 2-1 ruling upholding patents on two human genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.  We represent 20 plaintiffs, including geneticists,…

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…

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.

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…

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