The molecular diagnostics company that had won patents of two human genes that were invalidated by a landmark Supreme Court ruling has decided to abandon separate patent litigation surrounding how scientists study those genes.
…The court’s decision opened the door to other companies offering cheaper tests. Myriad sued them, however, claiming that they were infringing on other Myriad patents that the Supreme Court did not invalidate.
But after some unfavorable court rulings, Utah-based Myriad has agreed to withdraw from the litigation. Settlements have included companies like Invitae, LabCorp and Pathway Genomics. More are to follow.
This is patently good news.
The original research was all publicly funded, and Myriad jumped off of that in a race to sequence the gene first to get the patent (doing relatively standard methods). The patent probably chilled a lot of research in the area due to threat of litigation. But who will want to spend money or invest money in genetic research if there is no chance of any monetary return or worse who will be prepared to release any research papers if the only chance of making money is by keeping the discovery a secret and to be used only for personal gain?