Myriad Genetics

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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, and patients and challenged patents controlled by Myriad Genetics on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.  Based on a 30-year-old U.S. Patent & Trademark Office policy, Myriad had obtained its patents on these two genes, which are closely associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer risk, and stopped other laboratories in the U.S. from providing genetic testing to patients, even when these labs wanted to offer different, more comprehensive, or less expensive tests. 
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.

Seems like common sense, right? But over the last 30 years, the U.S. Patent Office has issued patents on thousands…

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…

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…

The Biggest Threat to Free Speech and Intellectual Property That You’ve Never Heard Of

The Biggest Threat to Free Speech and Intellectual Property That You’ve Never Heard Of

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:22pm

As we have seen in the failed attempts of SOPA/PIPA, and the floundering Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, intellectual property (“IP”) laws are often poorly constructed, hastily proposed and ultimately both ineffective and potentially…

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…

Celebrate DNA Day by Taking Back Your Genes

Celebrate DNA Day by Taking Back Your Genes

By Sarah Roberts, Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 4:05pm

Tuesday is National DNA Day, which commemorates the discovery of DNA's double helix structure by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953, as well as the successful completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003. In honor of National DNA Day, the…

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…

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