Gene Patenting

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 who work every day to improve our understanding of the connection between genes, disease, and treatment and the care they provide to patients; breast cancer and women's health groups, who spoke out against the effects of these patents on patients; and women who have family histories of breast and ovarian cancer, or who have already been diagnosed with cancer, and faced obstacles to their medical care because of these patents.
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…

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,…

When Patents Don’t Equal Progress

When Patents Don’t Equal Progress

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 1:50pm

Yesterday, a unanimous Supreme Court strongly reaffirmed a principle that has existed in our case law for over 150 years: laws of nature, natural phenomena and abstract ideas cannot be patented. This principle may seem obvious, but companies have…

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…

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.

Should Patents Control What Your Doctor Can Think?

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 4:55pm

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an important patent case involving the right of physicians to think about how a patient has reacted to a drug, Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories.

Prometheus’…

 Who Owns Your Genes? The Case Continues…

Who Owns Your Genes? The Case Continues…

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 8:10am

Today, a divided appellate court upheld patents on two human genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The ruling partially reverses a landmark decision by a federal district court in March 2010 that concluded that human genes cannot…

Aerial view of the U.S. Patent Office building; Image source: Cliff/Flickr

Is the "Patent Happy" Patent Office Violating the First Amendment?

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 2:43pm

Last April, during the Supreme Court oral arguments in our case challenging patents on human genes, Justice Kagan remarked, "The PTO seems very patent happy." Her comment, and the unanimous decision invalidating gene patents, clearly expressed the…

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