US Ruling — Can you Patent a Gene?

It has been ruled by a US District Court that a patent cannot protect gene isolation technology.

The decision relates to an objection by a civil liberties group over the granting of such patens on the basis that it is unfair to allow a monopoly over something which relates to medicine and human life.

In response it was argued that patents for Genes encourage investment which in turn encourages development to the benefit of all. It was also argued that the Patents in question relate to Gene sequences and the method of isolating a gene rather than just the gene itself.

However the Judge stated that whilst gene sequences are scientifically valuable, they are not patentable as they consist of a ‘law of nature’.

The debate is likely to continue given the strong clash between the financial benefits involved with a patent and the importance of the same on human development.

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