A Report in Wired Claims 23AndMe is Suing Ancestry Over Some Ancient Intellectual Property

This is a follow-up to the earlier article, 23andMe Sues Ancestry.com With a Patent Suit Concerning DNA Kits, that I published at http://bit.ly/2L9ewBC.

A new article by Megan Molteni in the Wired web site provides an insight into the details of 23AndMe’s recent lawsuit against Ancestry.com. Amongst other things, it says:

“Earlier this month, Ancestry’s chief competitor in the genetic genealogy game, 23andMe, filed a lawsuit in California federal district court, alleging that Ancestry infringed on its patented method for identifying relatives from tidbits of DNA. 23andMe also accused its rival of false advertising, and asked the court to nullify the trademarked “Ancestry” name, arguing that the word has become a generic term used by other companies in the field (including 23andMe).”

It also states:

“’If 23andMe succeeds in shutting down Ancestry for a while, it could have a much broader impact,’ says Christi Guerrini, a patent lawyer and researcher at the Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy. ‘My concern is the extent to which these tools use the same methods described in 23andMe’s patents, and what the implications are for them and the citizen scientists and genealogical hobbyists that use them.’

You can find the entire article in Wired at: https://www.wired.com/story/23andme-sues-ancestry/.


Excellent article. Thanks for pointing it out. it’s going to be interesting to see how this ultimately all shakes out.


That is a bit different from another site mentioning this same lawsuit – it was about the usage of the word “Ancestry”, claiming it is generic and frequent of “sales” that wasn’t plus the claim about 5 times more regions.


That’s one of the dumbest claims I’ve ever heard!!! Ancestry started 23 years before 23AndMe. I’ve had family members who worked there when it was just beginning and it was just a tiny little company. It has grown much larger over the years, but 23AndMe will, too. There are many words that evoke thoughts of family history – like MyHeritage, Legacy, Origins, etc, etc, etc. Looks like someone is stretching to find something to complain about!


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