AMP v. Myriad

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AMP v. Myriad
Court Supreme Court of the United States
Citation 569 U.S. 576, 133 S.Ct. 2107
Date decided June 13, 2013


  • For decades the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted gene patents for isolated DNA sequences.
  • The Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) = "AMP" = plaintiff
  • Myriad Genetics, Inc. = "Myriad" = a company that discovered the location & DNA sequences of 2 breast cancer genes = defendant
  • Myriad obtained numerous patents based on its discovered breast cancer genes

Procedural History


Are products of nature patentable?


  • AMP argued that genes and the associated cDNA were products of nature; thus, Myriad shouldn't have been allowed to patent those genes.


No; patent protection isn't available for products of nature.

Myriad's gene patents are invalid. However, the cancer cDNA patents were different. The cDNA patents only included the coding portions of DNA while it excluded the non-coding portions of DNA. Therefore, the cDNA patents are valid.


Affirmed in part with respect to cDNA while reversed in part with respect to gene segments


Clarence Thomas : Inventions derived from products of nature can qualify for patent protection.