- In a 2-1 decision Thursday, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Cour of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (which has national jurisdiction for appeals in patent-law cases) upheld gene patents developed at the University of Utah and used by the company Myrida Genetics Inc. in a controversial test that helps predict hereditary breast and ovarian cancer risks.
- The Public Patent Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and their backers in many disease foundations and organizations representing academic researchers challenged the patents, saying that they restrict scientific nature and patients' access to medical care, and that it is illegal to patent forms of nature--though the court ruled that the patent claims covered "non-naturally occurring" matter.
- The plaintiffs have not decided what to do next, but could request a rehearing before the full appeals court or seek an appeal to the Supreme Court.
From the article:
A federal appeals court on Thursday again upheld the legality of gene patents developed at the University of Utah and used by Myriad Genetics Inc. for a controversial test it sells exclusively to help predict the hereditary risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The Public Patent Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, backed by many disease foundations and organizations representing academic researchers, have sought to challenge the legality of the patents. The opponents say that it is illegal to patent forms of nature and that the patents restrict scientific research and patients' access to medical care. ...