Gene patents invalid in USA

District Court Judge Robert Sweet has ruled that Myriad’s patents for the BRCA1 and 2 isolated gene sequences are invalid on the grounds that isolation of the “pure” form of the gene is insufficient to confer patentability.

The New York Times has a lengthy report.

Patently-O summarises, with a link to the 152 page judgment. Prof. Crouch goes on to note that the reasoning effectively invalidate almost all gene patents but expresses the view that the Federal Circuit will reverse, setting up the matter for the US Supreme Court.

These are the patents which sparked controversy in Australia in 2008 and 2009 as a result of which the Senate is now holding an inquiry, currently due to report by 17 June 2010. The ALRC had earlier in 2004 recommended that patents should continue to be available for genetic material.

Association for Molecular Pathology and ACLU v. USPTO and Myriad (S.D.N.Y. 2010) (Judge Sweet)