Genetic Patenting; The Challenges Facing Gene Patents & Concerns they Pose – IP.com

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The Supreme Court considered Myriad’s claims under the long-held rule that “laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas are not patentable,” they are the tools of innovation necessary for science and technology. Yet, patents serve to encourage creation by ensuring some degree of profitability. The Supreme Court explained, “Patent protection strikes a delicate balance between creating ‘incentives that lead to creation, invention, and discovery’ and impeding ‘the flow of information that might permit, indeed spur, invention.’” Thus, the question before the Court was whether Myriad’s patents pertain to a “new and useful composition of matter” or simply “naturally occurring phenomena.” In a unanimous decision, the Court ruled that cDNA is patentable, while segmented, natural DNA is not.

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