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Human Gene Patent Challenged In Australian Court

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the if-they-can-patent-leather dept.

Patents 90

dov_0 writes "Following a successful patent challenge in the US, an action is underway in Australia to have patents on two breast cancer genes declared invalid."

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Let the Free Market Figure it Out (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32495920)

Government needs to get out of the way of business. If private companies want to own human genese, I'm sure that the benefits will trickle down to us. Ronald Raegan and George W Bush taught us that. Sarah Palin repeats it like an emtyheaded perky breasted slave of the Retarded Right.

Truly an American Icon.

Re:Let the Free Market Figure it Out (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#32495976)

Agreed. Also, let us remember what a beacon of free enterprise and social progress 19th century industrial england was!

Re:Let the Free Market Figure it Out (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496004)

And of course by "get out of the way of business" we mean "prevent any other businesses from competing".

Re:Let the Free Market Figure it Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32496050)

Government needs to get out of the way of business. If private companies want to own human genese, I'm sure that the benefits will trickle down to us. Ronald Raegan and George W Bush taught us that. Sarah Palin repeats it like an emtyheaded perky breasted slave of the Retarded Right.

Truly an American Icon.

Patents are not free market. They are artificial monopolies backed with the violence of the state. If there was a true free market (we don't have anything close to one) there would be no patents and companies (btw, corporations are also creations of the state that really just take away liability for actions) would have to actually compete.

Re:Let the Free Market Figure it Out (2, Insightful)

The Fanta Menace (607612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496602)

Whoosh.

Re:Let the Free Market Figure it Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32496102)

I don't want some company owning something that was in me since I was a single cell.

Re:Let the Free Market Figure it Out (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32497688)

and has been a part of humanity since before recorded history...

Re:Let the Free Market Figure it Out (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32497676)

It's always been my understanding that you can only patent things you create.
Last time I checked, no company could honestly claim to have created ANY part of the human genome.
Needless to say, I have no freaking idea how the patent offices could even entertain such a stupid idea, other than complete incompetence.

Re:Let the Free Market Figure it Out (1)

beav007 (746004) | more than 4 years ago | (#32504860)

Government needs to get out of the way of business. If private companies want to own human genese, I'm sure that the benefits will trickle down to us.

The stupid thing about what you're saying is that the patent system itself is Government interference. If you want the Govt to stop interfering, remove the patent system.

May be missing the point of the patent system (4, Interesting)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#32495948)

Aren't patents supposed to protect inventions rather than just discoveries of something that exists already? Or are they claiming that they created those breast cancer genes in labs and forcefully injected it in their test subjects?

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (5, Informative)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496026)

No, it's an existing gene. The patent usually works by stating the gene in question has been determined to do x and they write the patent so it loosly covers anything that might interact with that gene to alter or manipulate its function, hence they effectivly hold a patent on the gene.

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (0, Insightful)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496344)

That's fucking sick.

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (3, Informative)

meerling (1487879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32497714)

except that I've seen articles indicating that companies are patenting genes without even knowing what they do, just that it's been fully sequenced and they shoot of a patent app.

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32512372)

The patent is on the isolation process for the gene. If you want to study or use the gene in some fashion, you will owe them for the process to actually get at it. Providing you haven't found another way which isn't patented.

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (1)

Yuan-Lung (582630) | more than 4 years ago | (#32499914)

"they write the patent so it loosly covers anything that might interact with that gene to alter or manipulate its function"

Maybe I should patent the nerves on the penis and clitoris, and collect a fee whenever someone try to manipulate those....

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (2, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 4 years ago | (#32502722)

You know, I wouldn't have as big a problem with this if the USPTO just required one thing before issuing a patent: a working demonstrative prototype for every claim.

If they had actually cured cancer, I wouldn't mind so much them owning the cure for cancer (after all, in 17 years everybody gets it dirt cheap - a huge win for humanity).

The problem is that they don't have a cure for cancer, and nobody else is going to bother to target this gene for developing a cure for cancer due to the encumbrance. So, humanity loses out in the stifling of future discovery.

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (3, Informative)

Random2 (1412773) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496098)

The main reason these patents were allowed was to help refund the costs of the research into these genes. By forcing researchers, drug companies, ect. to license the use of the gene, it helped the initial team of researchers/parent company recover the money they sunk into finding the gene.

The implication of this ruling is a loss of profitability via research. Whether this is actually the case or not will be determined by time.

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (3, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496546)

I doubt it. The vast majority of basic biology research was done without patenting that knowledge and trying to sell it in some way, which is sort of what Myriad Genetics was trying to do. There are grants for basic research, the point of that is to fund research which was important but not directly profitable. If someone is saying "the only way this research will get done is if I can sell the knowledge afterwards," they are lying.

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32498986)

They'll just become trade secrets. However they won't last long because the skills and tool required to figure out genes become cheaper everyday.

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32500354)

That's why the biotech companies have to hurry up and patent them before some communist hippie with a PCR machine in his garage can find them first!

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (3, Interesting)

robotkid (681905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32499140)

The main reason these patents were allowed was to help refund the costs of the research into these genes. By forcing researchers, drug companies, ect. to license the use of the gene, it helped the initial team of researchers/parent company recover the money they sunk into finding the gene.

The implication of this ruling is a loss of profitability via research. Whether this is actually the case or not will be determined by time.

Yes, but you are looking at the wrong end of the drug pipeline. The ultimate goal of said research is for actual therapies and treatments to be invented, which can then enjoy patent protection. Patenting the gene itself creates a highly restrictive environment where only those with agreements with the patent holder can even consider embarking on the (much more costly and difficult) search for a treatment.

There are researchers in the community, BTW, that are now legally barred from working on disease treatments for genes they discovered because they felt it was unreasonable to patent and restrict access to it, only to find out that patent troll biotech companies had read their work and successfully patented the same information and are now suing for compensation. So think about before you generalize on the hypothetical research implications of patentability, this is happening now.

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (2, Interesting)

thms (1339227) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496162)

Playing the devils advocate: Patents exist to encourage research which, when completed, could be easily "stolen". If there were no patents, nobody would research something which a competitor could copy without doing any of the work; or everyone would obfuscate their findings if possible.*

So a company invests millions to find a gene which plays a role in cancer, i.e. it finds the connection and not just patents random junk hoping to score something later - shouldn't this be rewarded or protected somehow? If this is just one step towards a drug, competitors could just jump onto their findings and get a half-free ride.

* or, of course, the state does all the research and any individual with a smart idea which this big system doesn't support is left to his own devices with no protection from being deprived of his reward. Obviously, middle ground is where the solution is, not that I have any idea where exactly that is.

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496258)

That's entirely missing the point of the parent post. There's a huge difference between an invention and a discovery. Should the discovery of gravity be patentable?

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (0)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496362)

Yes, and anyone who interacts with it is infringing on my patent. Please refrain from jumping, walking, moving in any way, shape or form, and from being attracted to large bodies, earth included, by such means.

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (4, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496462)

Yes. Now float off my lawn.

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496884)

Than those companies need to give up. places like http://www.vai.org/ [vai.org] are doing research and giving it free to the world.

Sometimes "the greater good" is better than a profit margin.

And the funny part is the best scientists are being drawn to the Institutes that allow them to do research without reporting to the board and justifying profit margins.

I have yet to find anyone that has went to college to work on genetics and cure diseases because "I'm gonna be stinking rich" they do it because they want to help humanity.

It's the Business degrees that whore the world for dollars.

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (3, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32497548)

I think the argument that I would make (and most reasonable people who are not entirely against the whole concept of patents) is that it would be perfectly reasonable to patent the drug you developed to fight Breast Cancer based upon your discovery of this gene. Patenting the gene itself is not reasonable. I cannot patent my discovery that steam forced into a confined space can turn temperature energy into kinetic energy. I can patent the steam engine I built based on this realization. I cannot patent my discovery that these specific proteins in combination result in a Breast Cancer gene. I can patent the drug I synthesized to combat breast Cancer based on this gene's construction.

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (2, Insightful)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | more than 4 years ago | (#32499880)

The basic assumption is that patents encourage innovation. I've met a couple of inventors. They weren't primarily motivated by getting a patent. They just wanted to see if it, whatever it is, would work. Inventors don't like doing patent searches, much less paying someone else to do them. They like to tinker.

I suppose someday, we'll read in the news that patents have a great social cost than benefit [mises.org] .

Re:May be missing the point of the patent system (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 4 years ago | (#32504318)

Patenting a screening system designed to find this gene is patenting an invention. Patenting the gene itself is taking credit for something that no man has yet achieved!

Rather than thinking of this as a problem (1)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496268)

...take it as a challenge to do something else. If the patent is successful, let it serve as the "bar" to beat. It will foster healthy competition and drive innovation. In fact, replace whatever they used with amphibian DNA ... sex changing amphibian DNA. [dramatic music]

Genetic DMCA (1)

happy_place (632005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496368)

And if you happen to be found with this breast cancer gene, you'll be inviolation of the patent... and once the Ninja-lawyers of Genetic Engineering Taskforce Bureau Enforcement of Native Technologies (aka GETBENT) is in place, you will be forced to pay dearly! (cue evil laughter)

only the beginning (2, Insightful)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32495950)

Sadly, unless the courts in each respective country declare this type of patent to be invalid, this in only the beginning of a long, long process. All those patents. In all the countries. Tested one or two, or even a handful at a time... The patents might expire before the issue of patentability of the human genome (or any naturally occuring genome, for that matter) is resolved.

Re:only the beginning (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496066)

Running to the pantent office to patent my whole genome, then going on a mating spree. I should be able to reap the first round of dividents in about 9 months. This should give me enough time to come up with a pricing plan while kids grow up for using patented technology. Would that make me a troll?

Investors Flee the Scene (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32495958)

Look at their stock in the last month [google.com] and then look down at related companies on that page and see how every single company in that industry has suffered stock prices plummeting in the last month. Not saying it's a bad thing or that these patents shouldn't be overturned but it was pretty obvious [slashdot.org] . Just to prepare everyone, you will see a short term drop in research devoted to identifying cancer genes unless it's government backed with your tax dollars.

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32496016)

I see no problem with my tax dollars going to research, its other things they use my tax dollars for that pisses me off.

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (4, Insightful)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496060)

A little voice in the back of my mind is saying that cancer research is something that should be backed with my tax dollars, such that they are.

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496638)

Allow me to don the tinfoil hat for a moment, but if cancer research is a private field, I don't think they would strive towards finding a cure, or if they found it, I'm not sure they would publish it. There is much more money in treating repeat customers.

I'm not saying that its happening, just that I wouldn't be all too surprised if it were.

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496768)

But by its very nature, cancers create repeat customers. If you cure a person of their current malady, they are more likely to come back for treatment next time, than a person who was not cured and therefore died. And you are guaranteed a steady stream of new customers as they each experience the necessary random gene errors. It's a win-win.

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32497272)

Except that there currently is no cure. We do not cure the cancer, we just treat it. And it works exactly like you described, they get better for a while, then they're back.

It's so "Win-win" *cough*, that I have a hard time believing that cancer research is actually doing what they are saying its doing. For all we know, they are merely researching the cancer, and not looking for a way to stop it.

But there I go with crazy conspiracies again. I like to put a little more faith in humanity than all that. Perhaps that will be my downfall.

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (2, Informative)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32498316)

It was said tongue-in-cheek and please take the statement as such.

However, seriously, if they should find a "cure" for specific cancers... My statement holds true. People will need to be treated as they develop new cancers during their lifetime; and, their life expectancy will increase because the cancers can be resolved, like a bacterial infection is now. There will be no Holy Grail of cancer cures. We may, eventually, be able to provide "vaccines" for common cancers caused by viral infections and common genetic anomolies. There will still be plenty of the odd cancers caused by random replication errors.

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32496654)

The sick thing is a lot of the research is government-backed [nih.gov] , but then used to figure out a way to patent genes.

No.... (5, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496666)

Government dollars are for difficult projects that improve our lives, like trillion dollar wars, multi million dollar arms sales to future enemies we'll fight in trillion dollar wars, and so forth.

Easy things like cancer research that carry zero benefit for the population at large should be privately owned forever by unaccountable tyrannies. Not only do we spend billions of dollars on erectile dysfunction research and marketing instead of cancer, but the drug companies also get to spend two to four times more money for marketing than research [publicintegrity.org] , which results in lots of awesome TV commercials.

It's a win-win!

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496690)

Seconded. A quick google search found this page on the National Cancer Institute [cancer.gov] funding. If I'm reading that right, that's over 4 billion we spent through the NCI in 2008. We are in fact spending a lot of money on cancer to drive the preliminary research that isn't profitable. And why not, the government wastes a lot more money on far less noble goals than "curing cancer."

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (1)

j. andrew rogers (774820) | more than 4 years ago | (#32499078)

A little voice in the back of my mind is saying that cancer research is something that should be backed with my tax dollars, such that they are.

The reality is that governments spend almost nothing on biomedical R&D unless there is a thriving private sector biomedical R&D community lobbying them to spend the money. Biomedical R&D spending in the US, both private (the vast majority) and government, utterly dwarfs the amount of money spent on biomedical R&D by governments (or private sector) in the EU. The stark contrast in investment between the US and EU suggests that governments don't give a damn about things like cancer research unless the private sector research companies lobby them to care.

Wishful thinking aside, the empirical evidence is that the vast majority of productive biomedical R&D is motivated by the private sector, even when the government is paying for it. Biomedical R&D paid for by tax dollars for the "public good" as a viable alternative hasn't materialized (quite the opposite) in those industrialized countries that eliminated the private market for such research. One way or another, that research needs to be done but the world still relies on the US private sector in its various guises to do most of this work.

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (1)

ibwolf (126465) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496454)

... unless it's government backed with your tax dollars.

As opposed to being backed with private capital raised by selling me pharmaceuticals. One way or another, "we" are paying for this.

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496578)

Look at their stock in the last month [google.com] and then look down at related companies on that page and see how every single company in that industry has suffered stock prices plummeting in the last month. Not saying it's a bad thing or that these patents shouldn't be overturned but it was pretty obvious [slashdot.org] . Just to prepare everyone, you will see a short term drop in research devoted to identifying cancer genes unless it's government backed with your tax dollars.

Can you think of a better use of tax dollars?

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32496984)

Google search "cancer research institutes"

you get a ton of privately funded not for profit institutes doing cancer research... in fact they are out-pacing companies by 12 to 1.

Only the dumb people like the Parent thinks only companies and governments do real research.

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (2, Interesting)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32497818)

Many-if-not-most of those private non-profits are funded by government grants. Organizations like the American Cancer Society, direct donations, and similar charitable activities fund the rest, true, but without doing a LOT more research than you have there is no way to determine how much of any individual lab's budget comes from government grants vs. private charitable donations. Having worked for research institutions and having had my wife work for the American Heart Association, I can reasonably guess that the government pays for at least half of the health care research in this country. At least. Of course I'm kinda pulling numbers out of my butt too, and I doubt either of us has the time to really research the matter. At any rate, no the government doesn't *do* much research. It *pays* for research.

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (2, Informative)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32498432)

Crap. this was meant as a reply to sibling, not parent. Why can't we edit or delete our posts here again?

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32498256)

Or, they'll research anyway because they want to develop highly lucrative drugs that interact with such genes (and which can be patented).

Re:Investors Flee the Scene (1)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | more than 4 years ago | (#32499942)

I think the first mover advantage should be sufficient motivation. The discouragement comes from the embrace of the "winner-take-all" society we live in. Once these investors can let of setting up their own private monopoly or ATM, then they'll find other ways to invest their money, and that won't necessarily lead to a loss of R&D funding.

Good (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32495962)

This shit won't end well if people are allowed to patent genes.
The methods for finding genes? sure, medications you can make from studying genes? sure. Genes? no.

A company is more then welcomes to keep there findings as a trade secret. It's a pretty shitting thing to do in an industry founded on sharing.

Re:Good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32496620)

A company is more then welcomes to keep there findings

Wow, are you an illiterate fucktard. ~

(How' that for snarky?)

Re:Good (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32502748)

As an ex-USPTO examiner, I can say that genes are not patentable, nor were they. What is patented is exactly what you claim to be alright with: methods for looking at the genes, methods for manipulating the genes and other chemicals that do stuff to the genes.

The problem is that often there is only one method of looking at a gene, or one method of manipulating a gene. Sometimes the physics limits the methods to a single one. Patenting that method effectively patents the gene, which was the case at bar.

"Splunk"?!?!? (-1, Offtopic)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32495968)

Seriously, did I really just see an ad for "Splunk" network monitoring? Way to keep perpetuating the stereotype that geeks can't name anything properly. Were "splooge" and "schlong" already taken?

Re:"Splunk"?!?!? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496058)

Way to keep perpetuating the stereotype that geeks can't make a worthwhile argument and tend to get upset about relatively trivial bullshit like product names.

Re:"Splunk"?!?!? (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496420)

Upset? Amused is more like it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go use the GiMP in Ubuntu to create some better ads for Sprunk! Year 2010 is LINUX ON THE DEZKTOP, BABY!

Patents... (3, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32495994)

Patents are a great idea, but the whole concept has been completely raped. The USPTO awards many patents that have no business being granted, and many applicants try to make their claims as broad as possible.

"But if we only claim what we invented, we won't make as much money!" The entire purpose is to protect what you invent, fuckwads. Stop stifling innovation by creating a pencil but applying for a patent that attempts to cover any tool used to write.

Re:Patents... (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496104)

Um, yes I agree that the USPTO and the US patent system is broken. But the story is about patents in Australia.

Re:Patents... (1)

kaptink (699820) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496166)

Amen to that. You only need to go over to groklaw.net to see how patents get raped. Patent are supposed to help new ideas get a foot in the market but instead are being used to stilfe progress and innovation. The whole patent system needs to be torn down and started again from scratch.

Patenting genes is just wrong (1)

kaptink (699820) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496002)

Patenting genes is just wrong. I know these companies spend alot in research but you shouldnt just be able own a gene. Cancer is a battle everyone needs to come together and fight on the same team.

Re:Patenting genes is just wrong (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496160)

Maybe this is their grand scheme:

1 Find Gene
2 Patent Gene
3 Sue the Gene out of existence
4 Cancer Gone
5 ...
6 PROFIT!

Re:Patenting genes is just wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32496274)

My idea is rather:

1. Find out you have cancer (or any other patented illness)
2. Sue patent owner. It's their "product" after all.
3. Profit!!!

Re:Patenting genes is just wrong (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 4 years ago | (#32501424)

My idea is rather:

1. Find out you have cancer (or any other patented illness)
2. Sue patent owner. It's their "product" after all.
3. Profit!!!

Mod parent up! Bio-research companies would be shaking in their boots if this could be done.

Sometime in the last century, the crucial 1st step, called "observation" in the Scientific Method [wikipedia.org] became just another greed-based megacorp business.

We can't "look," so we can't hypothesize, experiment, make conclusions and test the hypotheses... because someone else is allowed to own the genes that we all share. So why the hell can we not sue, then?

APPLE SHOOTS!! APPLE SCORES !!! APPLE WINS !!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32496006)

Go home boys, the games are over. We win !!!!

Steve

Stupid patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32496056)

I feel like patenting rain. Whenever it rains where you live, you owe me a licensing fee.

Re:Stupid patents (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496086)

I have already patented water years ago. Your rain infringes on my patent. My lawyers shall send the black helicopters at your location within ten minutes.

Re:Stupid patents (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496096)

Pff, well I'm going to patent water. Try having your rain without any water. =P

Re:Stupid patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32496264)

"A method for precipitating an area of land through the use of dihydrogen monoxide gas deposited into the mid-atmosphere of Sol C."

If the patent is ruled valid... (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496216)

Why can't breast cancer patients sue on the grounds that these genes made them sick?

Re:If the patent is ruled valid... (2, Informative)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496402)

Because they'd get counter-sued for producing more of them in violation of the patent?

Actually, I may have just seen why allowing the patenting of (pre existing) genes is insane in the membrane.

Re:If the patent is ruled valid... (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 4 years ago | (#32499696)

Can I patent the genes in the common cold and sue everyone who gets sick?

ip law is a failure (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496244)

the idea that you create a temporary monopoly (which seems to get less temporary every day) in order to encourage the creation of arts and technology has costs which outweigh the supposed benefit. for those who actually create, there are ancillary revenue streams which require no such legal protection

its time to completely trash ip law. all of it. copyrights, patents: trash it, all of it

Re:ip law is a failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32497558)

That's a rather childish solution. If it's broken, you have to sit down and identify why it is broken and figure out how to fix it...oh but yeah, that requires *work*, doesn't it? Of course, you are itching to respond with, "yeah, good luck getting congress to do some work." And I'll respond with, "yeah, good luck getting Congress to dismantle the patent system." At least we have to start with a sensible, realistic solution (yours isn't) and try to force people in power to follow through on it.

if it were 1860 (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32497960)

and i was calling for the abolition of slavery, would your reply

hat's a rather childish solution. If it's broken, you have to sit down and identify why it is broken and figure out how to fix it...oh but yeah, that requires *work*, doesn't it? Of course, you are itching to respond with, "yeah, good luck getting congress to do some work." And I'll respond with, "yeah, good luck getting Congress to dismantle the patent system." At least we have to start with a sensible, realistic solution (yours isn't) and try to force people in power to follow through on it.

i hope you wouldn't say that

abandoning ip law is a completely realistic solution: creators have plenty of ancillary sources of revenue to support their endeavours. there is no need to continue a legal charade that is rife with abuse, abuses that outweigh any theoretical benefits

luckily, in regard to the arts, the internet allows us to completely ignore an ip status quo that only works in an era of vinyl and xerox machines. so we don't have to trash the law, just ignore it. as for technology: progress will continue to be blocked by idiocies until more people wake up

oh, btw: wake up!

Re:if it were 1860 (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32499134)

You really don't understand what you are talking about, do you?

"intellectual property law is philosophically incoherent. it is your moral duty to ignore it"
Do you even know the definition for ANY of those word with 6 or more characters in them?

no (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500136)

i'm a complete idiot and there's nothing wrong with ip law. it is a field of gold and honey, there are no abuses that might outweigh benefits

continue on in ignorant bliss. consider your worldview completely unchallenged. everything is wonderful with ip law

Keep Trademarks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32498798)

Patents and Copyrights sure, but I shudder to think what would happen if Trademark law were abolished. Trademark law was put into place to protect consumers from fly-by-nights posing as the 'real thing' and to protect the real companies from the reputation loss from such abused customers.

Bolex watches and Hewlet Pakerd computers are one thing, but if you start getting into people selling Tylonal that is just sugar pills, or worse, than we are getting into the realm of why we have Trademark law in the first place.

Re:ip law is a failure (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32499052)

nice over reaction.

There is a place for IP. It's a good thing that has gone too far. Lets not throw out the baby with the bath water.

Re:ip law is a failure (1)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | more than 4 years ago | (#32500390)

There are even *libertarians* who agree with you (I do, too). Imagine that [againstmonopoly.org] ! And that is despite what Ayn Rand had to say about IP.

The "carrot of financial reward" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32496412)

Yep, it's already available to drug and biotech companies for their investments into developing treatments for many conditions and diseases. They can exploit these innovations/inventions for the legal time the patent is valid, and they do. They make a LOT of money as a return for their investments.

However, the development of drugs or artificial implants does not entitle a company to patent the relevant body part. A gene is a body part. Why should it be any different? I seriously object to any part of my natural body being subject to a patent, simply because it has been identified. It would be an infringement to my basic human right to exist.

Re:The "carrot of financial reward" (1, Funny)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32496438)

I'm gonna patent opposable thumbs.

Re:The "carrot of financial reward" (1)

reverseengineer (580922) | more than 4 years ago | (#32503862)

Where do you stand on drugs which are synthesized or engineered versions of molecules native to the human body; for instance, human insulin or clotting Factor VIII expressed in engineered cultures? These are protein molecules that are meant to be exact copies of a substance normally produced by the human body, and they represent the translated output of genes native to the human genome. Genentech received a patent [google.com] (I believe it will be in effect until 2014) for the preparation and use of recombinant Factor VIII, used in the treatment of hemophilia A. Factor VIII is a natural product, and a critical part of Genentech's work was isolating the gene from human X chromosomes, then replicating and amplifying the gene in both bacterial and mammalian cultures. The question is whether such work constitutes an "invention."

In their patent, Genentech is careful to write that their patent would pertain "to DNA isolates as well as to DNA expression vehicles containing gene sequences encoding human factor VIII in expressible form, to transformant host cell cultures thereof, capable of producing functional human factor VIII." In simpler terms, Genentech patented the isolated DNA molecule of the Factor VIII gene, as well as the specific use of recombination technologies to clone, amplify, and express this particular molecule as the Factor VIII protein. That particular molecule, however, exists on every X chromosome in your body (it may be an non-working copy if you're hemophiliac, which is why there's a market for Factor VIII). Indeed, other companies had been isolating Factor VIII protein product from human blood for years before a recombinant form was developed. Was it right to grant Genentech the patent, given the natural origin of Factor VIII? I would argue that it was, which I find interesting because I think the opposite about Myriad and its BRCA patents, which I commented on [slashdot.org] when those patents were ruled invalid by a US judge.

I feel that there's room to provide patent protection to biological pharmaceuticals without damaging a person's inherent ownership of their own body. What Genentech did for their patent seems like a bioengineering analog to patenting an organic chemistry-based synthetic route for a small-molecule drug. It just happens to use a genetic sequence as the "starting material." Others may disagree- Genentech patented a molecule identical to an isolated human gene- therefore, this is a "gene patent" and should be disallowed. I think, however, that what Genentech claims for the gene- exclusivity on producing recombinant Factor VIII as a drug- is narrow enough to be acceptable.

Conversely, the Myriad patents on BRCA1/2 are written extremely broadly to claim what seems to me to be an unjust level of ownership of the genes themselves. In my opinion, you should be able to patent a diagnostic test or a therapeutic agent based on a human gene. What Myriad did however with their patents is to claim the genes themselves at such a basic level as to really claim all possible tests and therapies, present and future for the lifetime of the patent.

Patents idea (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32497022)

Idea:

If patents are created to be able to recoup costs of research/inventing/etc, why not put a profit cap instead AND a limit date?

Example: I spend $1Million on a 10 year research, I invent X thing, I can hold a patent on said invention for 20 years from patent date, OR for when I turn a net profit of $10Million; thus assuring that I recoup the invested money, and make a profit on it, or if I decide not to mass produce my invention for 20 years (or I cannot sell it) someone else can do it in 20 years.

sex wit4 a trollkore (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32498054)

xOS. Now BSDI is

mody up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32500252)

Pwned! (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32503782)

All your genes are belong to us. Wonder how much billons the people with that gene have to pay to the company that have the patent... they are making a lot of copies of them every day, since they born, and a lot more if they have children.

DNA is in the public domain - God (1)

emmjayell (780191) | more than 4 years ago | (#32505760)

Of course if I was actually God's proxy, I would have had first post.

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