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Other companies are unable to provide an alternative method of diagnosis because the gene in question is protected under patent laws [2].

The European Patents Office (EPO), an intergovernmental patent approval organisation, has 3 main criteria for the patentability of an invention: it has to be new, be susceptible to industrial application and involve an inventive step.

The revenue of Myriad Genetics in 2009 was $326 million, most of which came from their BRACAnalysis gene test [8].

Another problem arising from the nature of the monopolised market is that patients are prevented from receiving a second opinion on their test results.

The intellectual property rights allow the patent holder to deny licensing the usage of the gene for the development of alternative diagnostic tests, in order to retain their monopoly of the test market.