Page 92 - ASHG 2012 Annual Meeting Program Guide

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Wednesday, November 7
SESSION 20 – Invited Presidential Symposium: Gene Discovery and Patent Law: Present Experience in the
U.S. and in Europe
Hall D, Lower Level North, Moscone Center
With the present extraordinary pace of gene discovery, the question of who, if anyone, owns newly discovered
genes will be critical to research and practice in human genetics. This issue was before the U.S. Supreme Court and
remanded to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals as Association for Molecular Pathology et al. v. Myriad Genetics,
No. 11-725 where the decision was affirmed. In order to understand the many legal issues represented by this case,
the role of this case in the larger context of legal issues in genetics, and the consequences of the decision on this
case for research and services in human genetics, we have asked a panel of experts to educate us.
Hank Greely, Professor of Law and Director of the
Center for Law and Biosciences at Stanford University,
will moderate the panel and present an overview of
issues on which genetics and the law have come in
contact in the U.S.
Mark Lemley, Professor of Law and Director of the
Program in Law, Science, and Technology at Stanford
University, will describe the meaning of patents in the
context of intellectual property in general and gene
discovery in particular.
Lori Andrews, Professor of Law at IIT Chicago-Kent
College of Law and Fellow of the Hastings Institution,
will describe the issues of the Myriad case and the
roles of lawyers, practitioners and advocates in the
evolution of the case.
Gert Matthijs, Professor and Head of the Laboratory
for Molecular Diagnostics at the Center for Human
Genetics at University of Leuven, Belgium, will discuss
the challenge to gene patenting brought to the
European Patent Office by European human
geneticists, the consequences for genetics services of
the 2008 EPO decisions, and the present issues of
gene patents in Europe.
We intend these presentations to be educational rather than confrontational. Each speaker will present both their
own views and alternative, opposing points of view. Our goal is to understand the complexity of these issues
from the legal perspective. Considerable time after the presentations will be devoted to answering questions from
the audience. We hope ASHG members will enjoy looking at these questions from a different angle and will find
this perspective useful in their future research.