King & Spaulding, the law firm, provided an update on a key US Supreme Court life science ruling.
“On June 13, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling in Association for Molecular Pathology et. al. v. Myriad Genetics, the outcome of which was considered crucial in the development of genetic research.
The Supreme Court, in ruling against Myriad, held that isolated human genes in and of themselves are not patentable. Separating the gene from its surrounding genetic material is not an act of invention as contemplated by the controlling statute. But the Court found that a synthetic version of the gene created in the lab could be protected by patent. It also hinted that the process employed to isolate the genes could perhaps be patented, though the genes themselves could not.”