More Reactions to the Supreme Court's Gene Patent Decision

Posted by Pete Shanks June 26, 2013
Biopolitical Times

How the unanimous Supreme Court decision that human genes may not be patented will affect our lives continues to be somewhat unclear. Some industry sources claim that it won't make much difference in the long run, others that biotech will overall benefit, and some that it will be damaged. Generally, the expectation seems to be that consumers of genetic tests will find them cheaper and more available. However, Eleonore Pauwels wrote in a New York Times op-ed:

The Supreme Court's unanimous ruling ... was a wise and balanced decision that clears away a major barrier to innovation in the areas of biotechnology, drug development and medical diagnostics. But the decision is just a first step toward finding the right balance between protecting legitimate intellectual property and securing an open future for personalized medicine.

In other words, no one is quite sure how it will all play out. Here are some more responses, with capsule pointers to the attitude in each:

  • John Conley, Genomics Law Report: No surprise, good decision
  • Turna Ray, Genome Web: Industry observers disagree with each other
  • Heidi Ledford, Nature News: US biotech is confused
  • Jeffrey Perkel, The Scientist: Everybody wins
  • Jim Lennon and Gregory J. Brodzik, IP Watchdog: Mostly positive for genetic research
  • Mary-Claire King (who discovered BRCA1) in New Scientist: A victory for common sense
  • Sharon Begley, Reuters: The industry has already moved on

Previously on Biopolitical Times: