Are the Gene-Patent Storm Clouds Dissipating? A Global Snapshot

33(4) Nature Biotechnology 347, April 2015

6 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2015 Last revised: 13 Apr 2015

See all articles by John Liddicoat

John Liddicoat

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law; University of Tasmania

Tess Whitton

University of Tasmania

Dianne Nicol

University of Tasmania

Date Written: April 8, 2015

Abstract

In genetic diagnostics testing, what are the boundaries of the global patent problem, and is there a real risk that patents and licensing practices could impede access to tests?

Much has been written about the perceived and possible impediments posed by DNA sequence and associated method-of-use patents to the provision of genetic diagnostic testing services. These issues have recently soared into public consciousness owing to the protracted litigation concerning patents held by Myriad Genetics for genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer (BRCA1 and BRCA2) and entry into the debate of high-profile campaigners such as the actress Angelina Jolie. Surveys and case studies in the United States have provided useful empirical evidence on the negative effects of sequence and method patents and, more particularly, associated licensing practices, on the provision of genetic diagnostic services.

Keywords: gene patents, genetic diagnostic testing, global landscape, patents

JEL Classification: O31, O32, O33, O34, H51, I11

Suggested Citation

Liddicoat, Johnathon and Whitton, Tess and Nicol, Dianne, Are the Gene-Patent Storm Clouds Dissipating? A Global Snapshot (April 8, 2015). 33(4) Nature Biotechnology 347, April 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2591756

Johnathon Liddicoat (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

University of Tasmania ( email )

French Street
Sandy Bay
Hobart, Tasmania 7001
Australia

Tess Whitton

University of Tasmania ( email )

French Street
Sandy Bay
Tasmania, 7250
Australia

Dianne Nicol

University of Tasmania ( email )

French Street
Sandy Bay
Tasmania, 7250
Australia

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