This morning, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that human genes cannot be patented. This decision has been heavily anticipated, so naturally, the Internet is going bonkers on both sides. This post is an ongoing collection of links I find interesting related to the lead up and to the final SCOTUS decision today, so it will be updated as we go. Disclaimer: I am a Canadian genetics/genomics graduate student, so I’m leaning mostly in favour of the SCOTUS decision right now but I do see some negative implications down the road, and am watching this from an international perspective. This decision sets a huge precedent, and it will be interesting to see the fallout of this decision.
Given that the SCOTUS decision was unanimous (are these things ever unanimous?), and most scientists I have spoken with see the ruling on patenting human genes as a positive, I’m curious to hear the other side, apart from the obvious loss of revenue for Myriad (shares fell 5.6% on Thursday alone). The cDNA ruling is not something I was aware was on the table in the first place. Do you think the cDNA ruling will eventually be overturned in court?
Here are the links, and I welcome your contributions in the comments section as well!
- Wall Street Journal reports “Supreme Court Says Human Genes Aren’t Patentable“. The best bit of this report is the baseball bat metaphor wars near the end.
- US Supreme Court rules patents on ‘natural’ human genes invalid – Nature Blogs
- Supreme Court nixes patenting human genes – The Scientist
- Ban on patenting DNA cheers researchers – The Baltimore Sun – this article has several quotes from researchers, institutional directors, and professors, which a lot of the early reports lack due to the breaking nature of the story at their publication time
- US Supreme Court Rules That Isolated DNA Is Not Patent-Eligible, But cDNA Is Eligible on PatLit: the patent litigation weblog
- Genetic Errors in Supreme Court Decision – In the summary at the beginning, cDNA terminology is misused (cDNA conventionally means complementary DNA, NOT composite DNA as the SCOTUS syllabus reads; HOWEVER the term “complementary DNA” is correctly used on page 4 of the document linked at the beginning of this post (page 1 of the Opinion of the Court)
- Gene patent decision: in plain English – SCOTUS Blog
- Your genes cannot be patented, but it is too early to celebrate – Science, I Choose You (@TheresaLiao)
- SCOTUS ruling means cheaper genetic testing – Double X Science
- Myriad in the mire as SCOTUS rules against gene patents – BioMed Central Blog (Genome Biology)
- The gene patenting decision from a plaintiff’s point of view – ScienceNews. Includes comments from a researcher who received a cease and desist letter from Myriad for offering BRCA1 and BRCA2 tests
Twitter/Other Social Media
Media's coverage of SCOTUS Myriad decision is broadly misleading; the Court recognized the viability of cDNA patents. That's the real story.—
Joseph Adams (@josephbadams) June 13, 2013
To be updated