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ASCP Joins ACLU Lawsuit Opposing Gene Patents
Date:5/13/2009

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) has joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a lawsuit challenging the legality of patents on human genes -- specifically, patents covering the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are associated with breast and ovarian cancer. The lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Myriad Genetics, and Directors of the University of Utah Research Foundation in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York on May 12.

(Vocus) May 13, 2009 -- The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) has joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a lawsuit challenging the legality of patents on human genes -- specifically, patents covering the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are associated with breast and ovarian cancer. The lawsuit (Case 1:09-cv-04515-RWS Association For Molecular Pathology et al v. United States Patent and Trademark Office et al Complaint) was filed against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Myriad Genetics, and Directors of the University of Utah Research Foundation in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York on May 12.

"ASCP joined this lawsuit because a fundamental tenet of ASCP is that patients come first," said ASCP President Barbara J. McKenna, MD, FASCP. "Gene patents violate this principle by creating unjustifiable monopolies on human genetic information that is critical in the diagnosis of many diseases."

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