Australian Court Disagrees With US: Claim Genes Are Totally Patentable

from the sucks-to-be-DownUnder dept

Last year, the Supreme Court made an important ruling in the Myriad Genetics case, effectively saying that genes aren’t patentable, even if you can separate them out from the rest of a strand of DNA. Myriad Genetics had isolated two key genes related to breast cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2 and argued that only it could test for those genes, because of its patent. The Supreme Court soundly rejected that, noting that you cannot patent something in nature, and clearly Myriad did not “make” the genes. Unfortunately, as we’d noted just a few months earlier, a court in Australia had come to the opposite conclusion, saying that Myriad Genetics had legitimate patents on BRCA1 and BRCA2. That case was appealed, and there was some hope that after the US’s ruling, higher courts in Australia might see the light. Not yet apparently. An appeals court has agreed that genes are patentable Down Under, which means that such important genetic tests there are likely to be much more expensive and limited.

You can read the full ruling here if you’d like. The case can still be appealed to the Australian High Court, so perhaps it will take the same trajectory as in the US, where it needed the Supreme Court to finally point out the absolute insanity of patenting genes. Though, frankly, if Australia does keeps genes patentable, it might make for an interesting natural experiment to see how much innovation and research happens in both places — one with, and one without, patents.

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Companies: myriad genetics

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Comments on “Australian Court Disagrees With US: Claim Genes Are Totally Patentable”

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21 Comments
Kronomex says:

Re: Re:

Haywire is such a a polite word for the scumbag pollies that ruin…run…the country for their paymasters. Here in Australia it has become a case of “not what you know but how big the brown envelopes of money you pay to the politicians.” The LNP stopped wearing trousers months ago, they wear containers of lotion that drip onto their raw dry anuses to keep them oiled for the next fucking by their corporate masters.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

You know how it took so long for the US to get movies & tv shows on the galleon sailing to Oz?
Well now they are exporting the worst things from the US there trying to get another shot at world domination.
Copyright insanity hit the shores, now bad patents that they will try to use use in other places.
Perhaps they can even get a court to let them sue for lost business under those trade agreements they keep trying to sneak in.

I feel bad for Oz, they are having to fight the same crap we did years ago… and they don’t know how bad it will get… because we didn’t get the history lesson on the galleon soon enough.

LewisV (profile) says:

"Australian Court Disagrees With US: Claim Genes Are Totally Patentable"

Personally, I think it is a crime against humanity for trying to claim a legal right of ownership over any part of it. By other actions as well, and without any regard to it’s citizens, Australia has earned the title of Copyright Capital of the World. It’s a corporate IP friendly country with a government which lacks any form of common sense.

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