The District Court for the Southern District of New York found that patents were ineligible. The plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court, which granted certiorari and remanded the case to the Federal Circuit.
___ June 13, 2013), was a case challenging the validity of gene patents in the United States, specifically challenging certain claims in issued patents owned or controlled by Myriad Genetics that cover isolated DNA sequences, methods to diagnose propensity to cancer by looking for mutated DNA sequences, and methods to identify drugs using isolated DNA sequences. Diagnostic claims were already under question through the In re Bilski and Mayo v. Drug screening claims were not seriously questioned prior to this case.
Patent Office accepted patents on isolated DNA sequences as a composition of matter.
The Federal Circuit did not change its opinion, so on September 25, 2012, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court with respect to the second Federal Circuit Decision.
On November 30, 2012, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the plaintiffs' appeal of the Federal Circuit's ruling.
On June 13, 2013, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court invalidated Myriad's claims to isolated genes.
The Court held that merely isolating genes that are found in nature does not make them patentable.
Proponents of the validity of these patents argued that they encourage investment in biotechnology and promote innovation in genetic research by not keeping technology shrouded in secrecy.
Opponents argued that these patents stifle innovation by preventing others from conducting cancer research, limit options for cancer patients in seeking genetic testing, and are not valid because they claim genetic information that is not inventive, but is rather produced by nature.
The global search for a genetic basis for breast and ovarian cancer began in earnest in 1988.