[ExI] gene patent challenge

Dave Sill sparge at gmail.com
Tue Nov 3 13:44:42 UTC 2009

2009/11/2 spike <spike66 at att.net>:
> Hey some of you cluemeisters here, check this out and tell me who are the
> good guys and who are the bad guys and why.  Do explain your reasoning
> assuming moderate intelligence but little specific background in the field
> if possible:
> http://www.wired..com/threatlevel/2009/11/genes/

Don't know that I qualify as a cluemeister, but I'll take a shot.

Here's the gist of it:

"According to the plaintiffs — dozens of patients and researchers —
the genes cannot be patented because they exist as naturally occurring
products of nature. The suit claims Myriad did not invent, create or
in any way construct or engineer the genes. Rather, Myriad located
them in nature and described their information content as it exists
and functions in nature, the suit claims.

In defense, Myriad argued that, among other things, the lawsuit should
be tossed because the plaintiffs have no legal standing to bring the
case, even though they were “ready. willing and able to infringe.”
Myriad also argued that there was no legal basis for the plaintiffs’

The judge disagreed in an 85-page filing."

I find the notion of patenting genes to be absurd and think it will
seriously hamper research. Imagine if explorers had been able to
patent their discoveries and prevent others from making and selling
maps. What if Priestly had patented oxygen?

Patents should be restricted to inventions, not discoveries.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list