US Court restricts patent protection for human genes

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided that genes are no longer subject to US patent protection unless they have been chemically modified. The editorial team spoke to Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer about further consequences of the judgment.

Zimmer warns that, following this decision, other natural substances, such as proteins, antibodies or micro-organisms, will likewise be excepted from patent protection if they are merely isolated from nature, but remain unchanged. For companies operating globally the United States’ unique path means a lot of additional expenditure, says Zimmer.