On November 30, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case The Association of Molecular Pathology et al. v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. et al. In this case, the Supreme Court will consider the question of whether human genes can be patented.
One of the plaintiffs, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), is appealing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s ruling from August 2012 that isolated DNA can be patented because it is a man-made composition that is sufficiently different from naturally occurring DNA. The ACLU had argued that human genes are products of nature and should therefore not be patent-eligible subject matter.
The ACLU also said in its petition to the Supreme Court that the Federal Circuit did not give adequate consideration to the Supreme Court ruling in Mayo v. Prometheus, which held that a method claiming a natural correlation could not be patented.
The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case in March or April of 2013, and a decision can be expected by the summer.