A decade ago, the US Supreme Court decided , concluding that isolated genes were not patentable subject matter. Beyond being a mere patent dispute, the case was a political and cultural phenomenon, viewed as a harbinger for the health of the biotechnology industry. With a decade of perspective, though, ’s impact seems much narrower. The law surrounding patentable subject matter—while greatly transformed—only centered on in small part. The case had only a modest impact on patenting practices both in and outside the United States. And persistent efforts to legislatively overturn the decision have not borne fruit. The significance of thus remains, even a decade later, hidden by larger developments in science and law that have occurred since the case was decided.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 25 is August 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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