Gene Patents Come Under Fire Again

The debate over whether patents covering genetic tests should be allowed escalated dramatically on May 12, 2009. On that day, the American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU) and the Public Patent Foundation, a not-for-profit organization affiliated with the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (PPF), filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York. The complaint alleged that certain patents for “breast cancer genes,” owned by the University of Utah and licensed by Myriad Genetics, are invalid and unconstitutional.

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