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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

The BRACA Gene Patent Case (Myriad) Will be Argued Today

The Myriad case heads back to the US Supreme Court today for oral argument. My hope is that Mryriad’s argument for gene patents goes down in flames.

The issues revolved around various aspects of efforts to patent gene testing for a particular gene. Myriad keeps shifting positions, but at various times, it has argued that its patent gives it the sole right to test a person’s BRACA gene if any money is involved. The ACLU challenged the patent, and it was struck down by a federal district court judge. The patent court (the Federal Circuit) reversed, looking at the world through it’s patent-centric glasses. The US Supreme Court took cert in Myriad but then remanded after unanimously issuing the Prometheus opinion that struck down a patent involving some related but far from identical issues. On remand of Myriad, the Federal Circuit failed to get the message from its unanimous reversal in Prometheus. Therefore, it once again reversed the trial judge.

Some members of pharma want gene patents. Many industry members, however, do not want gene patents. I’d recommend shorting Myriad.

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