Women's Rights

Patents on Breast Cancer Genes


In May 2009, the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation filed a lawsuit charging that patents on two human genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer are unconstitutional and invalid. The suit charges that the patents stifle diagnostic testing and research that could lead to cures and that they limit women’s options for medical care. On July 29, 2011, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the patents were valid. The ACLU had not yet determined if it will appeal. Updates and more information about the case are available here.