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Cancer patients challenge the patenting of a gene [USA]

Author: John Schwartz, New York Times [USA], Published on: 12 May 2009

[A] lawsuit against Myriad Genetics and the Patent Office, challenging the decision to grant a patent on a gene to Myriad and companies like it…blends patent law, medical science, breast cancer activism and an unusual civil liberties argument…Companies like Myriad…have argued that the patent system promotes innovation…Richard Marsh, Myriad’s general counsel, said company officials would not be able to comment…The coalition of plaintiffs argues that gene patents actually restrict the practice of medicine and new research…Christopher A. Hansen, senior national staff counsel for the civil liberties union, said…the restrictions started to look like…a question…of free speech…“You can’t patent my DNA, any more than you can patent my right arm, or patent my blood,” said Jan A. Nowak, president of the Association for Molecular Pathology.

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Related companies: Myriad Genetics