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The “Designer Baby” Patent: Why the Patent System Should Not Regulate Science

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23andMe received criticism this week from a few bioethicists in the journal Genetics in Medicine, regarding a patent titled “gamete donor selection based on genetic calculations.”   The ethicists write,  “Selecting children in ways such as those patented by 23andMe is hugely ethically controversial… We believe the patent office made a serious mistake in allowing a patent that includes drop-down menus from which to choose a future child’s traits… At no stage during the examination of the patent application Read More >

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New Bill Calls for No WTO-Plus Benefits for Countries that Violate IP

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A new Bill in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to remove WTO-plus trade benefits the United States provides to countries that disrespect intellectual property rights.  On September 20, 2013, Representative Terry introduced the “Playing Fair on Trade and Innovation Act.”  The Bill would deem countries ineligible for the Generalized System of Preferences program (GSP) if that country “fails to provide adequate and effective protection for intellectual property rights” or “maintains local content requirements…”  GSP Read More >

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“Should the USPTO allow the patenting of living organisms?”

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Most people associate patents with mechanical or electronic devices, new chemical substances, intricate machines or other inanimate things. The notion that patents are also available for living things may be puzzling at first. A patent is a form of property right that allows its owner a certain measure of control over how others may make, use or sell the patented invention. Surely the inventor of e.g. a new gyroscope sensor (like those used in Segway Read More >

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India’s IP Policy: India’s Lead Biotech Innovator Expresses Concern

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Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson and managing director of India’s largest biotechnology company Biocon, expressed concern with India’s innovation environment in a recent interview with Livemint.  When asked if the Indian government fosters innovation Ms. Shaw responded: “I am very concerned about the wrong signals we are sending to the world. We have not done anything substantial to build India as a strong global economy. We have wasted a lot of opportunities. We behave like the world Read More >

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Patent Trolls and Patent Litigation: The GAO Weighs In

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Patent troll litigation alarmist were likely disappointed by the GAO report.  While the public discourse may have already concluded that patent trolls have laid waste to the innovative landscape by creating a patent litigation crisis, the GAO report does not find much evidence to support such claims. Patent troll litigation is not running rampant.  The GAO analyzed a sample of 500 patent infringement lawsuits from 2007 to 2011 and found that companies that make products (operating Read More >

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