(NEW YORK) -- A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of companies patenting isolated human genes.
The U.S. Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision that ruled Myriad Genetics could not patent human genes in an effort to help predict if women have an increased risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer, according to The New York Times.
In the court's ruling, it cited the difference between DNA isolated from the body and DNA that lives inside the body's chromosomes in determining a company's right to patent genes. The court's decision rested on the notion that DNA isolated from the body was "markedly different" from the genes inside chromosomes because the isolated DNA is not a product of nature.
The 2-to-1 decision also ruled against Myriad for its gene mutation screening methods because it only involved “patent-ineligible abstract mental steps.”
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