Gene Patents Dead

Extremely good news: thanks to Australia it appears gene patents are dead. 1

A 69 year-old pensioner from Queensland has succeeded in a David-and-Goliath battle against a multinational corporation that claimed a patent over the “breast cancer” gene.

Australia’s highest court has unanimously ruled that a mutated gene that causes cancer cannot be subject to a patent, or the right to control use of the gene.

The case is a massive win for cancer survivor and grandmother Yvonne D’Arcy and the law firm that represented her, Maurice Blackburn, which took the case all the way to the High Court after repeated losses in the Federal Court. It argued that mutations in the so-called “breast cancer gene” BRCA1 were naturally occurring component of the human body that had been discovered, rather than an invention that could be patented.

But Medicines Australia and some intellectual property lawyers say the decision could slow access to new drugs. 2

Gene Patents Dead

Show 2 footnotes

  1. If not immediately, soon enough; of course certain American companies will fight this, just as insurance companies will fight self-driving cars.
  2. “Because,” said a Medicines Australia leech spokesman, “generally the company is only interested in developing medicines from which we will garner an obscene profit. We do understand for Medicines Australia to so benefit the patients, and by patients we mean cancer-riddled folk sometimes literally at Death’s Doorstop, the patients mu be willing to bend over and let us ass rape them. This may seem unfair but it’s our system.”

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