The Washington Post

The Circuit: Supreme Court rules against patents for human genes

Apple’s Cue takes stand in e-book trial: Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of software services and a key executive within the company, will testify in a New York courtroom Thursday about Apple’s deal with book publishers to set the prices of e-books.

As The Washington Post reported, Cue is a key figure in the case, and has been called the “ringleader” of what the Department of Justice claims was an illegal price-fixing scheme. He was the chief go-between between Apple’s late chief executive Steve Jobs and the publishers.

Supreme Court says no patents on human genes: The Supreme Court Thursday ruled that human genes may not be patented, The Washington Post reported, in a decision that has major ramifications for the future of medical and genetic research.

The split-decision was made after justices considered the case of Myriad Genetics, which holds patents on genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer, the Post reported.

The court did rule, however, that a synthetic form of DNA, called cDNA, does deserve patent protection because it was created — not discovered — in a lab.

Intel cable service?: Cable and satellite distributors are trying to block plans from Intel to create a cable service that would sell bundled cable channels to users over the Web, The New York Times reported.

Intel, the report said, is still planning to begin the service by the end of year — although it has yet to announce any deals with companies that own channels. The efforts to slow down the Intel plan, the report said, could draw the attention of antitrust regulators. Unnamed sources who had been “contacted by the department” told the Times that the issue is already being examined as part of a broader look into cable and satellite company practices.

Smartphone summit: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco Attorney General George Gascon are hosting a smartphone summit Thursday and will announced an initiative to address an increase in mobile phone thefts, The Associated Pressreported.

Earlier this week, Apple announced that a feature in its forthcoming mobile operating system that would allow users to implement a sort of kill switch to disable their phones in the event of a theft — something that law enforcement officials have called on smartphone makers to do. The attorneys general said in a statement to the AP that they are “appreciative of the gesture” from Apple but would like to reserve judgement until they understand the feature’s full functionality.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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