Myriad Appeals, Says Gene Patents Should Be Allowed
from the but-of-course dept
This will come as no surprise to anyone, but Myriad Genetics has officially appealed the ruling that invalidated gene patents. As you may recall, earlier this year, a court noted that genes are unpatentable, noting that they “are directed to a law of nature and were therefore improperly granted.”
Myriad is appealing on two points. First, it’s claiming that the people who sued have no standing, because there’s no controversy since the company hadn’t taken any action against the plaintiffs. That seems like a pretty weak argument, given that Myriad had made it clear that it would enforce its patents against anyone else who tried to do research or genetic testing on the specific BRCA1/2 genes. Second, Myriad is claiming that the patents are valid, because it connected not just the gene (which is unpatentable), but the isolated gene combined with the information that this mutation predicts breat and ovarian cancer (also, unpatentable by itself). Basically, Myriad is suggesting that tying two unpatentable things together make this patentable. That makes little sense, and hopefully the appeals court sees through it as quickly as the district court did.