It was filed in 2009 and has since bounced from the New York federal court to the appeals court and the Supreme Court, which will hear arguments in the coming months on whether human genes can and should be patented.
The genes at issue
According to Myriad Genetics' website, approximately 7% of breast cancer cases and up to 15% of ovarian cancer cases are caused by mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
The company says people found with mutations of either gene have "risks of up to 87% for breast cancer and up to 44% for ovarian cancer by age 70."
It says its BRACAnalysis test can confirm the presence of mutations so carriers can form "patient-specific medical management plans to significantly reduce the risk of cancer."
"This is the beginning of personalized medicine," said Sally Crossing, spokesman for Cancer Voices Australia, a national network representing Australians affected by cancer.
"Any testing or access to material for researchers needs to be made as free and as easy as possible for them just to speed it up."
Crossing said the Australian ruling was "extremely disappointing" but not surprising.
"There seems to be a mindset in Australia to protect patents at all costs," she said. "To our way of thinking it's an anomaly of the Patents Act that was never intended to be applied to the human body."
She said Cancer Voices Australia would be pushing for an amendment to Australian law to cover human genes.
"I think the only thing for us to do now is to look at having an exclusion clause in our current patent law or put up a whole new law. That's what we will be advocating for and supporting," she said.