In a landmark ruling, the US government has finally come out to declare that patent genes are not legal. This is the tail-end of a struggle which began earlier this year with Myriad Genetics claims to the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. No doubt Myriad will appeal the ruling. And they have a lot of muscle on their side, given that another 2000 or so genes are also under patent cover elsewhere, with an industry worth billions of dollars at stake. Also covered under the ruling are diagnostic tests based on gene sequences.
This blogger cannot be more pleased with the ruling.
Hopefully it may also recalibrate the research funding towards more understanding rather than just chasing after patents and the fast buck.