The case has symbolic impact, Parthasarathy said, because it has galvanized the public on the question of whether a company can control elements of a human body. And it is notable as well that the suit was led by public interest groups. Finally, "it's quite important in terms of public engagement with the patent system."
The ruling is also significant because where to draw the line has been hotly contested when it comes to providing the incentive of a patent versus promoting access to materials needed for innovation, like genes. This is the high court’s attempt to draw that line, Burstein said.
The ruling doesn't impact the large proprietary database of information that Myriad Genetics has gathered. Several experts agree that gives the company a competitive advantage.
Still, at its heart, both sides in the case were after the same thing, Burstein said. They wanted to create “lots of incentives for innovation. Innovation improves lives, grows the economy, all that good stuff.”
Myriad Genetic's stock (NASDAQ:MYGN) volleyed up and down Thursday. It started at $33.84 and rose as high as $38.27 before closing out down 5 percent at $32.01.
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