On June 13, 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled in case AMP vs. Myriad that isolated genomic DNA is not patent-eligible, but cDNA is.

Court stated, among other things;

  • Myriad found the location of a gene associated with increased risk of breast cancer and identified mutations of that gene that increase the risk.
  • Myriad explains that the location of the gene was unknown until Myriad found it among the approximately eight million nucleotide pairs contained in a subpart of chromosome…Many of Myriad’s patent descriptions simply detail the “iterative process” of discovery…But extensive effort alone is insufficient to satisfy the demands of §101.
  • Nor are Myriad’s claims saved by the fact that isolating DNA from the human genome severs chemical bonds and thereby creates a nonnaturally occurring molecule.
  • In this case, by contrast, Myriad did not create anything. To be sure, it found an important and useful gene, but separating that gene from its surrounding genetic material is not an act of invention.