Tag Archives: patenting life

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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“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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Debunking the Myth: Your Genes are Patented

MYTH: YOUR GENES ARE PATENTED. FACTS: IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO PATENT YOUR GENES The term “gene patent” is a misnomer, because genes as they exist in the body cannot be patented. Because a naturally-occurring gene – even a newly-discovered one – cannot be patented, patents don’t provide ownership rights over our genes, and nobody can infringe a patent by having a certain gene, or by passing it on to their children. If genes aren’t Read More >

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