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Decision Time

In a 7 to 2 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that Stanford University did not have a claim to the patent on the PCR-based HIV test that it said Roche infringed. The Nature News blog notes that Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion that Stanford's interpretation of the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 assumed "Congress subtly set aside two centuries of patent law" and that "had Congress intended such a sea change in intellectual property rights it would have said so clearly." And as our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News reports, the decision may clarify Bayh-Dole and affect how agreements are made between universities and their employees in terms of assigning patent rights — much of the case came down to the language of the agreements that Mark Holodniy signed. With Stanford, Holodniy's agreement said, "I agree to assign" future patents to the school, while with Cetus, whose PCR assets were bought by Roche, Holodniy's agreement said "I do hereby assign" future patents to the company. Patent attorney Richard Osman tells ScienceInsider that "the financial consequences will reverberate across Bayh Dole contractors that use imperfect language in their employee agreements."

The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.