Are human genes patentable? That is the BIG question.
The US Supreme Court granted certiorari to petitioners to hear arguments in answer to this question, ostensibly by examing issues in the Myriad case. There are many many (one could say myriad) petitioners from the ACLU, PubPat, and amici including academics, patients, doctors, and other advocacy groups opposed to gene patenting.
Myriad (the company) filed in opposition to the plaintiff's certiorari petition -- supporting patenting -- but obviously didn't prevent the case being heard.
Myriad did however get its arguments on the record as to why the Supremes should not prevent genes being patented, and why the petitioners arguments are factually incorrect. For a really good discussion of the Myriad opposition filing see The Patent Docs blog.
In addition to its many scientific, technical and legal arguments, Myriad also pointed out that "despite 30 years of isolated DNA patents, this case is the first and still only appellate decision to address the patent-eligibility of such compositions." Always got to be a first time. But, they further correctly state that many biotechnology companies have relied on precedent of standing DNA patents as important intellectual property protection that their investors rely upon to induce their financial participation in these companies.
Myriad argues the Court should not switch the rules of the game now, and that if a policy switch is to occur, it should emanate from the legislative policy-making process not by legal fiat. The Patent Doc blog author further advises that anyone with "skin in this game who sits on the sidelines should be ashamed."
Posted by Bruce Lehr Dec 3rd 2012.