June 13, 2013

On June 13, 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled that naturally occurring DNA segments were not patent eligible just because some firm or company or individual had isolated it. Synthetically created DNA segments, on the other hand, were eligible for patents, since they did not occur naturally. Myriad Genetics, a Utah biotech company had discovered and isolated two genes that are highly associated with breast and ovarian cancer and tried to patent its discovery, giving it a 20-year monopoly in the research, diagnostics and treatment of those genes. Myriad Genetics thought they’d found a loophole in how to become fabulously rich at the expense of cancer patients. That was like if someone had a monopoly on medicines that cured or regulated diseases like AIDS, diabetes, or arthritis and was charging prices that were a thousand times the actual costs of the medicine. It’s a good thing something like that can never happen in the United States.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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