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Category: Patents

UPDATE: Broad Institute claims victory in CRISPR intellectual property case ?>

UPDATE: Broad Institute claims victory in CRISPR intellectual property case

Previously we reported on the ongoing battle for intellectual property patent ownership of the CRISPR gene-editing technology between the University of California at Berkeley and the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. In this case, UC Berkeley challenged multiple patents filed by the Broad Institute on the grounds that they overlapped or interfered with existing patents held by UC Berkeley. On Feb 15, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office court ruled in favor of the…

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ASBMB gives mixed review to the Supreme Court decision on gene patenting ?>

ASBMB gives mixed review to the Supreme Court decision on gene patenting

Today, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics Inc. The court voted unanimously to overturn Myriad’s patents on the naturally occurring DNA fragments containing the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, while in the same ruling upheld the patents on forms of the genes never found in nature. The ASBMB applauds the Supreme Court for overturning the patents on the isolated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. On behalf of the court, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote,…

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Appeals Court Overturns Ruling Invalidating Gene Patents ?>

Appeals Court Overturns Ruling Invalidating Gene Patents

On July 29, a federal appeals court ruled that individual genes may be patented, overturning a lower court decision that had reached the opposite conclusion. The case centered on the question of whether genes were inherently products of nature.  In its ruling, the court found that genes were isolated DNA, having “been manipulated chemically so as to produce a molecule that is markedly different from that which exists in the body,” thus making them unique from “naturally-occurring” DNA. The case…

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Gene Patents Back in Court ?>

Gene Patents Back in Court

On Monday, the U.S. Federal Appeals Court in Washington D.C. heard testimony in a case that may well set legal precedent on the ability of companies to obtain patents on natural materials. The case centers on two patents held by Myriad Genetics that cover the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, mutations in which are highly linked to breast cancer. The company is being sued by a consortium of research and patient advocates who argue that the patents illegally allow Myriad to…

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Government Opposes Patenting of Individual Genes ?>

Government Opposes Patenting of Individual Genes

Stepping into a case that could have wide-ranging effects on scientific researchers, the U.S. Department of Justice on Friday filed a brief that opposes the patentability of genes.  The filing represents a reversal of position for the government, which for decades has allowed the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to grant patents on individual genes. In May 2009, the American Civil Liberties Union organized a lawsuit on behalf of four breast cancer patients, scientific researchers and professional societies that challenged…

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