Last week, Professor Dianne Nicol presented at the Gene Patents Forum hosted by QUT’s Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Program in Brisbane. The forum, organised by Professor Matthew Rimmer, was attended by a number of experts and HDR students in the field. Speakers discussed key cases and recent developments in the area; Intellectual property law is a particularly dynamic area of the law but even so, has been subject to particular change over the last few years. A key component of this change was the frequently debated question about whether genes are patentable subject matter. The legal implications of the Myriad Genetics BRCA cases, noted a number of times on this blog, brought this debate into the public arena and culminated with the Australian High Court Ruling. Nicol’s Presentation ‘Patentable subject matter: be careful what you wish for’, outlined the Myriad development, ruling and her view on the narrow implications of the case and then looked at the differences in jurisdictions concluding with whether the whole process has been worthwhile. Other genetic tests that have received some attention include those relating to Long QT Syndrome, Pre-Natal genetic testing. The implications of these and other cases are were discussed at length as they may have far reaching effects on innovation and technological advancement as well as healthcare and patients rights today and into the future.