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Maurice Blackburn handed genes patent case timetable
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Maurice Blackburn handed genes patent case timetable

The Federal Court in Sydney has today set a timetable for hearing a case that will determine the legality of patents over human genes.

THE Federal Court in Sydney has today set a timetable for hearing a case that will determine the legality of patents over human genes.

In June this year, law firm Maurice Blackburn lodged a claim that a patent associated with breast and ovarian cancer is invalid.

The claim was lodged on behalf of the national consumer organisation Cancer Voices Australia and Yvonne D’Arcy a Brisbane woman with breast cancer.

Rebecca Gilsenan, principal responsible for the case at Maurice Blackburn said:

“The patent's owners initially offered to surrender the patent. This could have meant that the broader question of whether it is possible to patent a human gene would not be decided by an Australian court.”

Since then both parties have agreed that that process of handing the patent back should not be finalised until this matter can be decided by a court.

Today the court set a timetable which will see the parties agree on a common set of scientific facts, and then take remaining disputed issues to the court for hearing. A trial has been provisionally listed for mid-September next year.

“Maurice Blackburn has welcomed the opportunity to have the matter proceed in a straightforward manner towards a determination of this groundbreaking legal issue by an Australian court”.


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