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Thread: Federal Judge Rules Against Patents On Human Genes

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    Federal Judge Rules Against Patents On Human Genes

    In a decision that shakes the legal foundation for much of the biotech industry, a federal judge has ruled many of a Utah company's patents on a gene test for breast and ovarian cancer are invalid.
    And I partially agree with this decision.

    1) These genes already exist, and cannot be invented. Therefore, you can't patent them.

    2) However, what about the test to find the gene? To me, it seems like something new, in that you can detect the genes by running the test, and so the test had to be invented. How can the court rule that the patent on the test is invalid?

    Which brings us to the poll that I posted.

    Article is here.
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    Re: Federal Judge Rules Against Patents On Human Genes

    The testing to find genes is a process that many use, they probably used conventional means to find it and didn't create some new method. Human genetic material should not be and cannot be patented. If so, can you charge someone with stealing if they are born with "your" gene? They can patent the drug/treatment if they use these genes to transcribe some sort of therapeutic protein, but they can't patent the genetic sequence or say it's theirs.Technically they didn't create it either.

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    Re: Federal Judge Rules Against Patents On Human Genes

    If they invented a way to test for the gene then they can patented the method or process for the test.

    They should not be able to gain a patent on all types of tests for the gene, nor hold a patent on identfiting the gene in the first place
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    Re: Federal Judge Rules Against Patents On Human Genes

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    If they invented a way to test for the gene then they can patented the method or process for the test.

    They should not be able to gain a patent on all types of tests for the gene, nor hold a patent on identfiting the gene in the first place
    And why not. After all, the test was THEIR intellectual property. Nobody else thought of it, or it would have existed before.
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    Re: Federal Judge Rules Against Patents On Human Genes

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    And why not. After all, the test was THEIR intellectual property. Nobody else thought of it, or it would have existed before.
    The genes existed before their test. They did not create the genes, but I believe developed a specific method to test for them

    Testing for genes is not something unique, and could be done by mapping the persons entire genome (longer and more expensive) Which means they invented a specific test for the genes, and that is what should be patented, not all types of tests for the genes


    Taking a gene though from one creature/plant and implanting it into another creature/plant should be patentable and it is (bT corn for instance) and enforcable as along as the plant/creature does not escape into the wild and start breeding on its own

    For example if a company created glow in the dark gold fish it should be able to patent that specific glow in the dark gold fish strain and enforce that patent, but if that strain of gold fish escaped into the wild, started breeding and resulted in people taking those fish from the wild as pets they should not be able to sue the person taking those gold fish from the wild
    Last edited by Lord Tammerlain; 03-30-10 at 10:51 PM.
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    Re: Federal Judge Rules Against Patents On Human Genes

    I dislike the idea of intellectual property regardless of what it's applied to.

    However numerous other countries have ruled that LIVING MATTER cannot be patented. Why the US allows it I cant understand.
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    See my last post

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    Re: Federal Judge Rules Against Patents On Human Genes

    The entire patent system in the U.S. is already a cruel joke, and adding the complexity of living organisms just makes it worse. Creating a monopoly based incentive for finding using genes might be worth it, but will need whole new system of rules to handle it. Genetic material has serious fundamental differences from a normal machine particularly in reproducing itself.

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    Re: Federal Judge Rules Against Patents On Human Genes

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    And why not. After all, the test was THEIR intellectual property. Nobody else thought of it, or it would have existed before.
    If the test would have occurred to anyone skilled in the art, it cannot be patented. I suspect that they used methods that were commonly used to identify genes.

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    Re: Federal Judge Rules Against Patents On Human Genes

    Putting a point on things, Judge Sweet, as the New York Times notes, took up the argument of critics who say identifying and isolating a gene is enough to win a patent. That's too clever by half, according to Sweet, and constitutes, "a 'lawyer's trick' that circumvents the prohibition on the direct patenting of the DNA in our bodies but which, in practice, reaches the same result."
    Identifying a gene is not patentable, but the test used to do so is.
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