Tuesday, March 9, 2010
It has been one year since I commented on 23andMe's foray into clinical medicine. I was frankly blown away that such a move would be so blatant without integration of health care practitioners.
I also was blown away that Myriad wouldn't sue the ever living bejesus out of 23andMe. A year later, no lawsuit. I am still surprised about this one. Don't you have to demonstrate protection of your patent to keep it?
Maybe Google/23andMe are paying a VIG to Myriad? I don't know, but it hasn't shown up on Myriad's SEC reports yet......
Why was I so surprised? Well, a few months after 23andMe launched the service AND Myriad did not sue, MYRIAD WAS SUED.
I began to wonder if not suing Google/23andMe was a sign of weakness. I was certain Myriad would then shut down the DTC Genomics BRCA testing.
To date, they have not.
This begs the question, does Myriad think they do not have a case and would lose against Google, thus strengthening the case against them by the ACLU? If that is truly the case and we will begin to see judicial activism in patent removal, well, then we could be in for an EXPLOSION of genetic testing labs out there, each doing their own thing, their own way.
An article in Nature Medicine by Brendan Borrell, does an excellent job of discussing the potential backlash and issues related to DTC Genomics and patent holders. They took the tech line. "Should we really be charged to look in the mirror?" Well, do you have to buy a mirror to look in it? FAIL
The question is: "Will other patent holders see themselves as vulnerable by allowing DTC Genomics companies to test for THEIR patented genetic markers?"
This could prompt a huge wave of lawsuits against these fledgling DTC Genomics companies. Normally, companies sue to shake down, scare away competition and make money or at least protect patents. What we could see is lawsuits designed to crush these young companies in an attempt to scare off the ACLU et.al.
By Myriad NOT suing 23andMe, we may have opened up a new wave of patent paranoia and fear. When that happens companies often turn to the courts to scare away competitors and people hell bent on their (patent) destruction......(ACLU)
It will be interesting to see what this year holds for the Gene Patent......