A bicycle path in the UK commemorates the sequencing of the BRCA2 gene. Duncan Hull / flickr For many years, all testing of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in the US was under control of one company: Myriad Genetics of Utah. But many expected that monopoly to be over when the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that Myriad can’t claim patent rights to those genes. In fact, the court ruled, such “isolated” DNA sequences can’t get patents at all—although a lab-made form of the gene called the cDNA version still can. Just weeks after it lost at the high court, Myriad filed new lawsuits against the first two competitors who began offering BRCA gene testing, Ambry Genetics and Gene by Gene. Despite its Supreme Court loss, Myriad believes its competitors are violating at least 10 other patents the company holds related to testing BRCA genes.

Ambry and Gene by Gene use “primers” and cDNA in a way that infringes 10 other Myriad patents asserted in the lawsuit. Those patents are co-owned with the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Utah, and other research institutions. 7     

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