Top Court in Australia Rules Cancer Gene Is Not a ‘Patentable Invention’
The High Court of Australia ruled that the genetic material, BRCA1, is not a patentable invention under §18(1)(a) of the Patents Act 1990.
Allowing the gene to be patented would involve an extension of the concept of a manner of manufacture. The court said that this question was not appropriate for judicial determination. In a plurality decision, the court determined that because of the far-reaching public policy effects present in the case the question is best left for legislative determination.
This decision is expected to have wide implications for cancer research.