Sean King

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Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

An Interesting Lawsuit Over Breast Cancer Genes

The lawsuit, believed to be the first of its kind, was organized by the American Civil Liberties Union and filed in federal court in New York. It blends patent law, medical science, breast cancer activism and an unusual civil liberties argument in ways that could make it a landmark case.


While I'm sympathetic to the plaintiff's issue, the fact is that the genes wouldn't have likely been discovered, or at least not as quickly, but for the potential profits that arise from doing such research. And if companies can't protect those profits via patents, then they will have no motivation to absorb the tremendous R&D costs that such discoveries require.

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