Daily Briefs

U.S. Supreme Court says human genes  cannot be patented

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court says companies cannot patent human genes, a decision that could profoundly affect the medical and biotechnology industries.
In a unanimous decision, the court struck down patents held by Myriad Genetics Inc. on two genes linked to increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Opponents say patent protection shouldn’t be given to something that can be found inside the human body.
But lower courts approved, saying Myriad’s genes could be patented because the DNA it isolated and took from the body has a “markedly different chemical structure” from DNA found naturally within the body.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the DNA is a product of nature and not eligible for a patent merely because it has been isolated.


Man gets life sentence for fatal shooting at poker game last year

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing the host of a Saginaw-area poker game last year.
Saginaw County Circuit Judge James Borchard gave Quintel West the mandatory sentence on Thursday.
The 24-year-old was convicted of first-degree felony murder last month in the May 29, 2012, slaying of Michael Kuhlman.
Testimony shows the 36-year-old Kuhlman and eight others were at his Saginaw Township home just before midnight when at least two men tried to get in. Kuhlman put his weight against the door to block their attempt.
A gunshot fired into the door hit Kuhlman.
West read a handwritten note disputing the prosecutor’s evidence against him and arguing that an illegal search led police to the apparent murder weapon.


Firm to hold Taxation and Succession Planning Institute

Butzel Long is hosting “Responding to Congress Avoiding the Fiscal Cliff: A Discussion of Techniques and Services to Provide for Your Clients in 2013 and Beyond” on June 20 from 7:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Troy Marriott, 200 West Big Beaver Road in Troy.
Congress avoided the fiscal cliff at the eleventh hour. Keep up with the changes that have occurred and review the existing state of the tax laws and how the laws may affect your clients.
This year is also a prime opportunity to expand traditional tax and auditing skill sets to other business areas that can help practitioners expand their services and become stronger trusted advisers to the clients they serve. Butzel Long’s annual Taxation and Succession Planning Institute is hosted by attorneys who have a long history of serving businesses and individuals with their taxation, estate planning, succession planning, corporate, and employment needs.
Please direct inquiries to Jonathan Spencer at spencer@butzel.com.

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