The ACLU has taken on a patent case for the first time in its nearly 90-year history. The government’s been allowing private companies to patent human genes. The ACLU thinks that violates the First Amendment and patent law. This is heady, complicated stuff. But when a patent creates a monopoly that restricts the free flow of information, a lot is at stake, and when we’re talking about something like genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer, real women are hurt. This video about the case features some of those women’s stories.
"How can it be that a company controls genes? How is that possible?" Barbara Brenner asks in the video. She’s the director of Breast Cancer Action and one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.