Judge's ruling against gene patents rocks genetics industry

A federal judge has invalidated the patents obtained for two key genes involved in breast and ovarian cancer, striking at the intellectual property foundation beneath the multibillion-dollar industry built up around genetic research. Judge Robert Sweet concluded that the patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes--held by Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation--were not valid, saying that the gene patents simply circumvented a prohibition against patenting human DNA. Report