Teaching Note | HBS Case Collection | December 2012

Gene Patents (A) (TN)

by Richard G. Hamermesh and Matthew Preble


This is the teaching note for case Gene Patents (A). In March 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet overturned 30 years of legal precedent and ruled that unaltered human genes could not be patented. This case reviews patent law and how it relates to our increasing knowledge of the Human Genome. The case issues deal with potential implications of Judge Sweet's decision for biotechnology entrepreneurs and investors.

Keywords: patents; genetics; biotech; Human Genome; Patents; Genetics; Biotechnology Industry; United States;


Hamermesh, Richard G., and Matthew Preble. "Gene Patents (A) (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 813-099, December 2012.