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End of BRCA patent dispute may be in sight

Report of a story in the news   |   By Dr Philippa Brice   |   Published 2 February 2012

Source: Lancet article

A resolution could finally be in sight for the contested BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene patents held by company Myriad Genetics in the US (see previous news).

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) petitioned the US Supreme Court and Myriad has now filed an official response, meaning that the case could come before the court later in 2012. Although only a minority of petitions are taken up by the court, this is a high profile case with potentially profound implications for human gene patenting, so there is a fair chance it will be taken further.

Daniel Ravicher, executive director of PUBPAT, said: “Many scientists believe this case to be about critical questions of patient care and social policy. The decisions made in the lower court were highly fractious so this is precisely the kind of case the Supreme Court should hear”.

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