Supreme Court to decide whether human genes can be patented

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear, for a second time, a lawsuit challenging patents held by Myriad Genetics on human genes implicated in breast cancer.

The court, in an order today, said it would consider only the question of whether human genes can be patented, meaning it plans to dive straight into one of the most contentious — and elusive — questions in patent law, which is the difference between an invention and a natural phenomena. Opponents of the patents say they prevent researchers from even examining naturally occurring genetic material that companies have patented. Supporters say the law allows patents on any process that isolates a valuable substance, even if it’s naturally occurring, citing industrial processes to create useful products out of hydrocarbons and plant material.

View the original article here: Supreme Court To Decide If Human Genes Can Be Patented In Myriad Case

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