Supplement | HBS Case Collection | March 2012 (Revised October 2013)

Gene Patents (B)

by Richard Hamermesh and Phillip Andrews


The case updates events since the Court's ruling against Myriad Genetics on March 29, 2010 and should be used in conjunction with Gene Patents (A). On July 29, 2011, a US Appeals Court reversed the prior ruling against Myriad. On September 16, 2011, the first major overhaul of US Patent law in nearly 60 years was signed into law. Among other provisions, the law moved the US to a first-to-file priority when granting patents, as was the practice in most of the rest of the world. Many felt this change would help to reduce the amount of patent litigation. The case ends with the Supreme Court's 9 to 0 vote on March 29, 2012 ruling against another company in a case similar to Myriad's. Within five days of that decision, the Supreme Court remanded the Myriad case back down to the Court of Appeals for reconsideration.

Keywords: Courts and Trials; Patents; Genetics; Judgments; Investment; Biotechnology Industry; United States;


Hamermesh, Richard, and Phillip Andrews. "Gene Patents (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 812-130, March 2012. (Revised October 2013.)