In a landmark decision Monday, the US Supreme Court ruled that patents belonging to Myriad Genetics on genes linked to increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, must be overturned. At stake was the idea that a company could isolate a human gene and patent it, a practice allowed for more than 30 years by the US Patent Office. But in a stunning decision by our highest court, the court ruled that simply isolating a gene does not diverge enough from what is natural law. The high court sent the case back to the lower courts to have them argue it out further.
Myriad like many companies who do this kind of work like to make the argument that patents are rewards for the research, and money that goes into this kind of work. The problem with this argument is that all the research in the world can go into deciphering the origins of universal mathematics, that doesn't mean that if you discover why Pi is so prevalent in the universe you get to claim ownership on it.