In a unanimous decision (written by Justice Clarence Thomas, of all people), the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that human genes can’t be patented. However, a manipulated gene that creates something not found in nature can receive patent protection.
The case was Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, No. 12-398, which involves the BRCA 1 and 2 genes, a mutation in which can indicate an increased risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. Until this ruling, Myriad Genetics controlled the research and testing for the BRCA mutations.
More to come on this momentous ruling.