Although there was some discussion of DNA/gene patenting in the 1960s and 70s, public debate on gene patenting began to intensify in the 1980s as a result of two events:
In 2013, the “BRCA case,” Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, No. 11-725, (formerly Association for Molecular Pathology v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) was in the news. This lawsuit challenged the legality of U.S. patents over breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. On June 13, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes (see ACLU website).