The Salt Lake Tribune (7/22, Harvey) reports, "The University of Utah and Myriad Genetics have asked a federal judge in New York to dismiss a high-profile lawsuit from gene research groups and others who are seeking to overturn the US practice of granting patents on human genes." The suit centers on "seven patents related to two human genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer." The university and Myriad claim that "the parties that filed the lawsuit," including the American Society for Clinical Pathology, "cannot prove they were harmed by the patents granted to the university and licensed to Myriad." They argued that "the plaintiffs have no actual dispute with the defendants," rather the case is "an overall policy disagreement concerning the legitimacy of gene patents." Proponents of the practice of patenting genes argue that the "isolation of specific genes were the result of unique creative and research processes that went beyond what nature had created." The suit "poses legal and public policy questions," and if successful, it "could overturn the thousands of US patents on human genes."
Judge Robert W. Sweet set a hearing for Aug. 26 on the motions to dismiss the lawsuit.