Legal News of the Day: SCOTUS Says No Patent on Natural Genes

Supreme CourtThis morning, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.  The court’s unanimous decision held that researchers must create something to get protection to study and apply the phenomenon.  Because the company at question in this case did not create anything, but only isolated genes that were already naturally occurring, the Court struck down its patent isolating human genes from the bloodstream.  As Justice Thomas commented, “To be sure, it found an important and useful gene, but separating that gene from its surrounding genetic material is not an act of invention.  Groundbreaking, innovative, or even brilliant discovery does not by itself satisfy the inquiry.”

For more coverage on the case and links to related documents, check out SCOTUSblog’s coverage.