American Association for the Advancement of Science
Science vol:330 issue:6011 pages:1630-1631
A decision from Judge Robert W. Sweet of the District Court for the Southern District of New York to deny patent protection for isolated human genes and associated diagnostic methods exploded as dynamite in the biotech industry. The case related to genetic tests for familial breast and ovarian cancer developed by Myriad Genetics. The case re-opened the vigorous debate on gene patenting and the delicate relationship between patents and health care. The paper points to two distinct phenomena in the area of human genomic science and intellectual property which both merit further attention: blocking patents and patent thickets. The paper suggests avenues of law making and private collective action to deal with these issues.