Australian court says genes can be patented

19 02 2013

A major legal battle is underway over gene patents in the US and is now headed to the Supreme Court, with oral arguments scheduled for April. A similar battle is taking place in Australia, and proponents of gene patents have just won a major victory in that nation.

An Australian federal judge has ruled that because the BRCA1 cancer gene has been “isolated” from the human body, it’s appropriate to grant a patent on it. “The disputed claims extend only to naturally occurring DNA and RNA which have been extracted from cells obtained from the human body and purged of other biological materials with which they were associated,” wrote the judge.


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