Details on Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.
on Jun 13, 2013 at 11:28 am
Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Thomas delivered the opinion in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. The Court held that a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated, but manmade cDNA is patent eligible because it is not naturally occurring. The case involved the well-known BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which can involve mutations that increase the likelihood of breast cancer. The ruling is significant for a variety of companies (including Myriad) that hold important DNA patents. But for the industry as a whole, it offers the prospect of significant patent protection for cDNA, as well as other inventions derived from human DNA. Justice Scalia filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.