US Tells High Court Myriad's Isolated DNA Can't Be Patented

Law360, New York (February 1, 2013, 5:54 PM EST) -- The federal government told the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday that breast cancer genes isolated by Myriad Genetics Inc. cannot be patented because they are no different from genes that exist in nature, and that patents on isolated DNA should not be issued.

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli filed an amicus brief supporting many of the positions taken by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is appealing a Federal Circuit ruling that Myriad's isolated DNA is a manmade composition eligible for a patent.

"Isolated but otherwise unmodified DNA is not patent-eligible," the government wrote. "The public's ability to study and use...

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