You can’t patent human genes. So why are genetic testing companies getting sued?

Critics of human gene patents rejoiced last month when the nation’s highest court ruled that human genes can’t be patented. A company called Myriad Genetics claimed to own genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 whose mutations are associated with an elevated risk of breast cancer. But the Supreme Court ruled that no one could own humanity’s genetic code.

Believing that the ruling opened the market for competing breast-cancer tests, several companies introduced BRCA testing products. But this week Myriad, whose gene patents had given it a de facto monopoly on BRCA tests, began suing them. If these lawsuits succeed, they could transform last month’s Supreme Court ruling into little more than a symbolic gesture. 

Read the full article here: You can’t patent human genes. So why are genetic testing companies getting sued?

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