Published March 17, 2022

Genetics legal authority Jorge Contreras (The Genome Defense) shares the behind-the-scenes strategies and battles that played out over years in the groundbreaking civil rights case, AMP v. Myriad, fighting private corporate ownership of human gene patents. His fascinating history explores the balance between scientific discovery, corporate profits, and the rights of all people. In discussion with Cathy Hwang.

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“A superb lesson on patents in general and the grotesque American patent system in particular . . . Contreras assembles a large cast of lawyers, judges, activists, scientists, and patients and engagingly describes four years of tortuous legal action that saw victory in federal court, reversal on appeal, and a final triumph in the Supreme Court . . . Fascinating.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Eye-opening . . . Contreras brings the large cast of case participants to life with vivid prose, and the exciting final spectacle before the Supreme Court is heart-pumping . . . a thorough page-turner.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Jorge L. Contreras, a law professor at the University of Utah, interviewed nearly 100 lawyers, patients, scientists and policymakers in this behind-the-scenes history of Molecular Pathology vs. Myriad Genetics, a long-shot lawsuit that culminated in a landmark 2013 Supreme Court decision that opened the human genome to the benefit of researchers, cancer patients and everyday Americans.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A compelling and thoroughly researched narrative history of a seminal lawsuit.” —The Wall Street Journal

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Virginia Festival of the Book staff, volunteers, partners, and attendees appreciate all of our sponsors. It is their crucial support, along with individual donors, that allows us to present the 2022 Virginia Festival of the Book almost completely free of charge. We appreciate the generous commitment from our Premier Sponsor, The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, and these major sponsors: Michelle and David Baldacci, Dominion Energy, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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