In Australia, Gene Patents Also Subject of High Court Struggle

20By Leigh Dayton

Science – The U.S. Supreme Court isn’t the only high court considering a precedent-setting case on patenting human genes. Australia’s Full Federal Court this week began proceedings in an appeal of an earlier decision that upheld the validity of breast cancer diagnostic tests developed by Myriad Genetics—the same tests that were the subject of oral argument before the U.S. high court earlier this week.

The Australian legal jousting comes as that nation’s policymakers pursue a trio of initiatives that could have far-reaching implications for how Australia handles biomedical patents, including those on human genes. On 2 April, a draft report on pharmaceutical patents that calls for limiting the reach of intellectual property (IP) was unveiled. On 5 April, the government released an independent government review of health and medical research that argues for allowing human gene patents. And on 15 April, a new law that updates the country’s patent system came into effect, but it mostly sidesteps the gene patenting issue… >>Continue Reading<<

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