Introduction: There has in the recent years been an increase in biotechnological patents. Using Myriad Genetics’ patents on the genes BRCA 1 and -2 as an example I will attempt to illuminate the effect of gene patents on biotechnological research and diagnostic genetic testing.Background: About 5% of breast cancer patients have hereditary breast cancer disease, usually due to mutations in BRCA 1 or -2. Genetic testing can say something about the risk of disease, and through earlier diagnosis improve the prognosis. Myriad Genetics’ patents on BRCA 1 and -2, giving the company exclusive rights to all potential genetic testing and therapeutic applications of the genes, provoked protests from research facilities who claimed the patents restricted research and the development of new tests. Results: Investigations into the effects of gene-patents on biotechnological research, mostly based on interviews, seem to show that though diagnostic genetic testing has become more expensive, research has not been impeded. Usually one gets a license, and if not, people find working solutions.Conclusion: Without patents to ensure commercial monopoly over a new discovery, it is difficult to imagine anyone willing to invest money in a research project. And if as an alternative discoveries are kept secret, science would not get far. Maybe some discoveries, like genes, are so fundamental non-profit organizations would make them anyway, but it is difficult to make a different set of rules for these discoveries. Articles show that despite a more complex patenting landscape, people usually come to an agreement over licenses.