Last year, the US Supreme Court finally banned patents on human genes, after they were handed out by the US Patent and Trademark Office for decades.
The effort was powered by the ACLU and Public Patent Foundation, who gathered a group of plaintiffs who were paying high prices for the patented gene tests on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
Now Canada is about to see a similar suit. The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) has filed suit (PDF) in Canadian federal court, seeking to invalidate patents related to “Long QT syndrome,” an inherited heart disorder that affects somewhere between 1 in 3000 and 1 in 5000 people. The patents were created at the University of Utah. That’s the same US university that was connected to the landmark Myriad case. University of Utah got patents on the BRCA genes, and then licensed them exclusively to Myriad Genetics.
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