Myriad Genetics going to the US Supreme Court

This afternoon, the United States Supreme Court announced that it will hear the appeal in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics on a single question: “Are human genes patentable?”

The appeal is from a decision of the US Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit U.S. which had held, in a 2-1 decision that isolated genes are patent-eligible subject matter (PDF). The case was first heard by the CAFC in 2011, appealed to the Supreme Court which returned the case to the CAFC for reconsideration in view of its decision in Mayo v. Prometheus, Inc.

In the petition for a writ of certiorari, the petitioners had also asked a question regarding the standing of the plaintiffs, primarily public advocates and doctors, to challenge the validity of the patents. Today’s grant of cert was only with respect to the question on the patentability of genes.