* By David Kravets Email Author
* May 13, 2009 |
picture-12The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Patent and Trademark Office and a research company awarded exclusive rights to human genes known to detect early signs of breast or ovarian cancer. The group claims the patents violate speech by restricting research.
The novel case, if successful, opens the door to challenges of a host of other patented genes: about one-fifth of the human genome is covered under patent applications and claims. The ACLU’s case is believed to be the first to challenge a patented gene under a civil rights allegation.