Justices Cast Skeptical Eye On Human Gene Patents

Law360, Washington (April 15, 2013, 7:02 PM EDT) -- Most of the U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday appeared uncomfortable with the idea that human genes can be patented, repeatedly asking counsel for Myriad Genetics Inc. why the company deserves a patent for isolating DNA that exists in nature.

No members of the court seemed to embrace Myriad's position that isolating genes associated with an increased risk of breast cancer created a new and useful molecule that had never existed before. However, the justices did raise concerns that invalidating the patents, as a group of doctors is urging in the case, would rob companies of the incentive to conduct such...

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