In this letter to Congress, the ACLU led over 150 other civil rights, medical, scientific, patient advocacy, and women’s health organizations in opposing a recent proposal to amend Section 101 of the Patent Act. This proposal, introduced by Senators Coons and Tillis, and Representatives Collins, Johnson and Stivers would reverse 150 years of court-precedent and permit the patenting of products and laws of nature, such as human genes, other naturally occurring matter and relationships, and abstract ideas. If enacted, this legislation would pave the way for businesses to own exclusive rights to genes, giving them the right to prohibit all others from providing and developing genetic testing and pursuing research.
Note: This letter has been updated to reflect a revised list of signatories.
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