Myriad argued at the Supreme Court
Even the normally confident justices expressed some trepidation as they considered the complexities of patent law and the mysteries of biochemistry. They talked about the introns and exons that are parts of genes, but spent more time on simpler illustrations: baseball bats, a hypothetical plant in the Amazon with miraculous powers, the recipe for chocolate-chip cookies.
From the New York Times Justices Seem Wary of Bold Action in Gene Patent Case
Justice Sotomayor said an isolated gene was like an ingredient in a kitchen pantry.
“I can bake a chocolate-chip cookie using natural ingredients — salt, flour, eggs, butter,” she said. “And if I combust those in some new way, I can get a patent on that. But I can’t imagine getting a patent simply on the basic items of salt, flour and eggs.”