US top court bars patents on human genes unless synthetic

WASHINGTON, June 15:  A unanimous US Supreme Court on Thursday prohibited patents on naturally occurring human genes but allowed legal protections on synthetically produced genetic material in a compromise ruling hailed as a partial victory for patients and the biotechnology industry. The ruling by the nine justices, the first of its kind for the top US court, buttressed important patent protections relied upon by biotechnology companies while making it clear that genes extracted from the human body cannot be patented. (agencies)