Gene Patents | Publications


Books that Deal with Gene Patents

Lori B. Andrews and Dorothy Nelkin
Body Bazaar: The Market for Human Tissue in the Biotechnology Age
(Crown: New York 2001)
The authors argue that permitting the patenting of genes will allow a market to develop where human beings are commercialized. They also provide a look into the future of where the world may end up if society continues on the path of human commercialization.

John Bryant, Linda Baggott la Velle, and John Searle, eds.
Bioethics for Scientists
(John Wiley & Sons: Chichester, West Sussex, England 2002)
This collection of essays uses factual and philosophical ideas to provide an introduction to modern life sciences. The chapter titled, "Patenting Human Genes: Ethical and Policy Issues," by Audrey R. Chapman addresses the patenting of human genes.

Timothy Caulfield and Bryn Williams-Jones, eds.
The Commercialization of Genetic Research - Legal, Ethical, and Policy Issues
(Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers: New York 1999)
This volume examines the ethical, legal, and policy issues surrounding the commercialization of genetic research. It addresses the public perception of genetics, the role of the media, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, regulating the commercial environment, and the role of research ethics boards.

Audrey R. Chapman
Unprecedented Choices: Religious Ethics at the Frontiers of Genetic Science
(Fortress Press: Minneapolis 2003)
The views and concerns of churches and theologians regarding biotechnology are examined in this book. The author discusses genetic patenting in the chapter titled, "The Patenting of Life."

Juan Enriquez
As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health, & Wealth
(Crown Business: New York 2001)
An analysis and examination of how biotechnology has progressed in conjunction with the economy is discussed in this book. The author also touches upon the possible ill affects of such advances. Gene patents are discussed in the chapter titled, "Revolution . . . in a Few ZIP Codes."

R. Grunwald and F. Vogel
Patenting of Human Genes and Living Organisms
(Springer-Verlag Telos: New York 1994)
Conflicting viewpoints on the application of the law to recent advances in biotechnology are covered in this book.

Bartha Maria Knoppers
Populations and Genetics: Legal and Socio-Ethical Perspectives
(Kluwer Legal International: New York 2003)
The expansion of genetic research from individuals and families to communities and whole populations is discussed in this book of selected papers.

Sheldon Krimsky
Science in the Private Interest: Has the Lure of Profits Corrupted Biomedical Research?
(Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.: Lanham, MD 2003)
The rising conflict for academic researchers between advancing science and commercial profits is examined in this book. The author discusses reasons why the private funding of academic research has improved scientific discoveries, as well as reasons why it has caused people to question the integrity of researchers.

David Magnus, Arthur L. Caplan, and Glenn McGee, eds.
Who Owns Life?
(Prometheus Books: Amherst, NY 2002)
Recent concerns with the commercialization of people and advances in biotechnology are addressed in this compilation of essays.

Thomas H. Murray and Max Mehleman, eds.
Encyclopedia of Ethical, Legal, and Policy Issues in Biotechnology
(John Wiley & Sons: New York 2000)
This collection of articles examines the ethical, legal, and public policy perspectives on a broad range of topics in biotechnology.

Jeremy Rifkin
The Biotech Century: Harnessing the Gene and Remaking the World
(J. P. Tarcher: New York 1998)
Discussions of how advances in biotechnology have changed society, as well as possible future changes, are considered in this book. The book includes a section on patenting genes and the power of the patent holder in the chapter titled, "Patenting Life."

Vandana Shiva
Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge
(South End Press: Boston 1997)
A critical examination of advances in biotechnology and how they have adversely affected society are examined in this book. Gene patents are discussed in the chapter titled, "Piracy Through Patents: The Second Coming of Columbus."

Derek G. Springham and Vivian Moses eds.
Biotechnology - The Science and the Business
(T&F STM: Amsterdam 1999)
A basic understanding of the connection between business and biotechnology can be gained from this textbook. L.L. Greenlee deals with gene patents in the chapter titled, "Patents: Paradigms in Collision."

Brian Tokar, ed.
Redesigning Life?: The Worldwide Challenge to Genetic Engineering
(Palgrave-Macmillan: New York 2001)
This collection of essays discusses how advances in biotechnology have affected society. Gene patents are discussed in the chapter titled, "Patents, Corporate Power and the Theft of Knowledge and Resources."

Li Westerlund
Biotech Patents: Equivalency and Exclusions Under European and U.S. Patent Law
(Kluwer Law International: New York 2002)
Conflicts between biotechnology and traditional notions of patent law are examined in this book. Part of the focus is on the granting of patents and their scope.

Articles that Deal with Gene Patents

Lori B. Andrews
The Gene Patent Dilemma: Balancing Commercial Incentives with Health Needs
2002 Hous. J. Health L. & Pol'y 65-106 (2002)
The role that gene patents currently play in society is discussed in this article. The author starts by discussing how gene patents fit into traditional notions of patent law and then critically analyzes if gene patents should be granted. The author also discusses the impact gene patents can have on impeding research, verifying discoveries and public health. The author concludes by discussing available means of changing gene patent policies such as litigation, legislation and administrative action.

Lori B. Andrews
Genes and Patent Policy: Rethinking Intellectual Property Rights
3 Nature Reviews 803-08 (2002)
Policy considerations in determining the patentability of genes are discussed in this article.

Misha Angrist and Robert Cook-Deegan
Who Owns the Genome?
11 New Atlantis 87-96 (2006)
As genomic research continues, questions need to be asked about how efficient our system of discovery is, and whether other unexplored systems might work better. The market model isn't the only model for advancing science. Some other examples are free and open exchange among researchers, software that is freely available as long as credit is given, and a "copyleft-style" ethic, where a researcher who uses data freely given from others will not file patent applications if they relied in part on the free data. These are only "bottom up" solutions. "Top-down" solutions, like licensing agreements, can also help change the way genomics is done and these options should be explored.

Avital Bar-Shalom and Robert Cook-Deegan
Patents and Innovation in Cancer Therapeutics: Lessons from CellPro
80 Milbank Quarterly 4, 637-76 (2002)
This article is a case study and analysis of the impact that intellectual property and science had on a specific company developing a cancer treatment. Although CellPro developed the cancer treatment technology and was the first to market and the first to win FDA approval for its cell separation device, it was forced into bankruptcy after losing a patent battle with Johns Hopkins University and its affiliates over the right to use the technology. The case also marks the first time the NIH refused to force a company to license a medical patent. The authors examine the case and comment on decisions at both the firm and the university and policies at the PTO, NIH, and the courts that resulted in CellPro's demise.

Stuart M. Benjamin and Arti Rai
Who's Afraid of the APA? What the Patent System Can Learn from Administrative Law
95 Georgetown Law Journal 269-336
With extensive discussion about patent law reform, it is surprising that few people are paying much attention to administrative law. Even judges (in particular federal judges) view patent law as outside of the Administrative Procedure Act, and administrative law more generally. The author argues that this is a mistake, as the basic principles of administrative law could serve as the guideposts to reform patent law.

Kimberly Blanton
Corporate Takeover Exploiting the US Patent System, A Single Company has Gained Control Over Genetic Research and Testing for Breast Cancer and Scientists, Doctors, and Patients Have to Play by its Rules
Boston Globe Mag., Feb. 24, 2002, at 10
Myriad Genetics's patent on a breast cancer gene and how it has affected scientists, doctors and the public are examined in this article. The article also includes specific examples of when the patent may have been infringed, but suggests that the possible infringement led to greater discovery.

Martin Bobrow and Sandy Thomas
Patents in a Genetic Age
409 Nature 763-64 (2001)
The restriction that the patenting of human genes might place on medical advances is discussed in this article. The article also argues that policy-makers are to blame for the lack of proper legislation in controlling the patenting of human genes.

Andrew Brown
Patenting Life: America Holds the Cards: Ethical Unease is Not about Science - It's about the Politics of Power
The Guardian, Nov. 15, 2000, at 11
This article provides a general discussion as to why more regulation is required for gene patents. It also explains why the European Patent Office, and not the U.S. nor a third world country, should determine how to regulate gene patents internationally.

Declan Butler and Sally Goodman
French Researchers Take a Stand Against Cancer Gene Patent
413 Nature 95-96 (2001)
The Curie Institut's challenge to Myriad Genetics's patent on a breast cancer gene is discussed in this article. It outlines the Institut's main argument against the granting of a European patent to Myriad.

Arthur L. Caplan and Jon Merz
Patenting Gene Sequences
312 British Medical Journal 926 (1996)
The conflict between religious groups and the biotechnology industry over the patenting of human genes is presented in this editorial. The authors then go on to discuss how the debate is actually a secular one and that it seems unlikely that the argument against the patenting of genes will prevail. The authors conclude by arguing that the patenting of genes is contrary to public interest.

Nuno Pires de Carvalho
The Problem of Gene Patents
Wash. U. Global Studies L. Rev. 701-53 (2004)
The author explains why previous criticisms of gene patents fail to fully address the problems created by the patenting of human genes. The author then explains that a lack of alternatives to inventions is the core rationale as to why human genes should not be patentable.

Barbara A. Caulfield
Why We Hate Gene Patents
IP Worldwide (2002)
Likening the human genome to a natural resource, the author argues that gene patents are contrary to scientific goals. She argues that the process involved in finding a new gene is no longer as inventive as it used to be and that even if a gene is isolated and cloned, its root of origin remains unchanged.

Timothy Caulfield, Robert M. Cook-Deegan, F. Scott Kieff and John P. Walsh
Evidence and Anecdotes: An Analysis of Human Gene Patenting Controversies
24 Nature Biotechnology 1091-1094 (2006)
The authors discuss dominant policy concerns and events that have fueled the debate about gene patents. The authors believe that although there is evidence to support some negative effects from gene patents, widespread problems have not widely manifested-with the exception of diagnostic tests. The authors note that there has also been an increase in secrecy among academic researchers, but state that policy measures to strengthen research exemptions will not address the problem because the secrecy is not directly attributable to increasing academic patenting. The authors further believe that more empirical evidence is needed about the problems gene patents create before the proper solution can be found.

Timothy Caulfield and Barbara Von Tigerstrom
Gene Patents, Health Care Policy and Licensing Schemes
24 Trends Biotechnol. 251 (June 2006)
This article discusses the government's ability to use compulsory licensing in addressing problems of access to health technology. The article considers the restrictions and conditions that trade agreements may have on governments and recommends future multidisciplinary analysis of the long term effect of gene patents on health care.

Timothy Caulfield, E. Richard Gold, and Mildred K. Cho
Patenting Human Genetic Material: Refocusing the Debate
1 Nature Reviews 227-31 (2000)
Some of the concerns with patenting human genes are discussed in this article. It concludes with a discussion of possible ways of dealing with those concerns.

Erika Check
Canada Stops Harvard's Oncomouse in its Tracks
420 Nature 593 (2002)
The Canadian Supreme Court's decision to deny Harvard's request for a patent on a genetically modified mouse is addressed in this article. Although environmental groups considered the decision a victory, it will do little to hamper the global market for the mouse.

John M. Conley and Roberte Makowski
"Back to the Future: Rethinking the Product of Nature Doctrine as a Barrier to Biotechnology Patents"
85 J. Pat. & Trademark Off. Soc'y 301
Observing that the USPTO and lower courts have considered the product of nature doctrine obsolete since the beginning of the biotechnology era, the authors argue that this doctrine is not only alive and well, but it also provides a promising pathway to challenge the patentability of genes. Patent lawyers have come to assume that the doctrine, which states that a product that occurs in nature in essentially the same form cannot be patented, has no relevance to gene patents. The authors suggest that gene patents be analyzed according to whether they meet the legal standard of patentable subject matter irrespective of the question of their novelty, utility, and non-obviousness. They argue that genes are unpatentable "products of nature."

Linda J. Demaine and Aaron Xavier Fellmeth
Reinventing the Double Helix: A Novel and Nonobvious Reconceptualization of the Biotechnology Patent
55 Stan. L. Rev. 303-462 (2002)
The authors argue that the recent trend in case law that views gene patents as desirable and legal is based on a misinterpretation of patent law. The authors also evaluate requirements for patentability to show that gene patents fail to meet those requirements.

Q. Todd Dickinson, John Kilyk, Jr., Arti K. Rai, and Jack Spiegel
The Human Genome Project, DNA Science and the Law: The American Legal System's Response to Breakthroughs in Genetic Science: Intellectual Property and Genetic Science
51 Am. U. L. Rev. 371-99 (2002)
This panel discussion, as part of a symposium, focused on two issues. First, whether granting gene patents has stimulated inventions in biotechnology. Second, how the patent system changed collaborations in science and competition and whether this has had an adverse effect on our lives. The panel included people who have spent time at the U.S. Patent Office, in private practice, in academia, and at the National Institutes of Health.

John J. Doll
The Patenting of DNA
280 Science 689-90 (1998)
The author, who at the time was the Director of Biotechnology Examination at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, argues that human genes should be patentable because it provides an incentive for researchers to invest in research and development. Examples such as the patenting of the building blocks of polymers and a patent on a picture tube are used by the author to support his position.

Rebecca S. Eisenberg
How Can You Patent Genes?
2 Am. J. of Bioethics 3-11 (2002)
This explains why patenting human genes conflicts with traditional notions of the patent system. The author discusses the traditional notions of the patent system and how the science of human genes creates a conflict.

Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Andrew Marks, and George J. Annas
Molecules vs. Information: Should Patents Protect Both?
8 B.U. J. Sci. & Tech. L. 190-217 (2002)
This is a panel discussion in a symposium, and it addresses the issue of whether genes should be patentable. The panel includes two law professors and the chief patent counselor of a pharmaceutical company.

Rebecca S. Eisenberg
Re-Examining the Role of Patents in Appropriating the Value of DNA Sequences
49 Emory L.J. 783-800 (2000)
The applicability of patent law to DNA sequences is discussed in this article. The author argues that the patent system was designed to handle issues that are "bricks and mortar" and cannot handle patents on genes because it does not consider whether a conflict with public wellness exists.

Rebecca S. Eisenberg
Patents and the Progress of Science: Exclusive Rights and Experimental Use
56 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1017-86 (1989)
The impact of including an experimental use exception to patent law is examined in this article. The author also discusses why researchers need unrestrained access to scientific discoveries.

Donna M. Gitter
Ownership of Human Tissue: A Proposal for Federal Recognition of Human Research Participants' Property Rights in Their Biological Material
61 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 257-345 (2004)
This article argues that the sale of human tissue for research purposes should be permitted and regulated through a Congressional enactment. The author uses two conflicting models from case law and then proposes a hybrid model of the two as a route for legislatures to take in enacting legislation.

Donna M. Gitter
International Conflicts Over Patenting Human DNA Sequences in the United States and the European Union: An Argument for Compulsory Licensing and Fair-Use Exemption
76 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1623-91 (2001)
This article addresses the patenting of DNA sequences and the problems that might arise in the United States and the European Union. The author discusses these problems with respect to the development of law, policy and moral arguments. The author then discusses how the public perceptions and attitudes of the United States and European Unions are quite different, even though the legal frameworks are similar. The author then offers a dual reform that would benefit both biotechnology companies and researchers.

Donna M. Gitter
Led Astray by the Moral Compass: Incorporating Morality into European Union Biotechnology Patent Law
19 Berkeley J. Int'l L. 1-43 (2001)
The enactment of Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament, which, in part, allowed a patent to be challenged on a moral and ethical basis, is discussed in this article. The author also discusses why both proponents and opponents of the Directive were unhappy with its enactment.

Michael A. Heller and Rebecca S. Eisenberg
Can Patents Deter Innovation? The Anticommons in Biomedical Research
280 Science 698-701 (1998)
This article argues that the privatization of discoveries in biotechnology can adversely affect public health.

Michelle R. Henry, Mildred K. Cho, Meredith A. Weaver, and Jon F. Merz
DNA Patenting and Licensing
297 Science 1279 (2002)
A telephone interview study was conducted by the authors to learn more about the patenting of gene sequences and their impact on future biotechnology discoveries. The authors learned that nonprofit organizations made more genetic discoveries but were less likely to attempt to patent their discoveries.

Stephen Hilgartner
Acceptable Intellectual Property
319 J. Molec. Bio. 943 (June 2002)
This article addresses the tension between traditional theories of intellectual property and the political questions surrounding ownership of emerging technologies, particularly biotechnologies. The author argues that the economic theories of innovation most commonly used to think about intellectual property are unsuitable for considering the new political dimensions of these technologies and suggests the rights-based perspective on real property as an alternative. He concludes that this rights-based framework is a better way to think about ownership of biotechnology discoveries because it encompasses the questions raised by the economic theories of innovation and recognizes rights beyond those rights that arise during the innovation process.

Cynthia M. Ho
Who Deserves the Patent Pot of Gold?: An Inquiry into the Proper Inventorship of Patient-Based Discoveries
2002 Hous. J. Health L. & Pol'y 107-72 (2002)
This article discusses patients' contributions to discoveries in genetic technology and how the patent system has failed to recognize them. The author then addresses some possible solutions to better serve the interests of the patient.

Molly A. Holman and Stephan R. Munzer
Intellectual Property Rights in Genes and Gene Fragments: A Registration Solution for Expressed Sequence Tags
85 Iowa L. Rev. 735-848 (2000)
This article proposes a solution to the debate over whether expressed sequence tags (ESTs) should be patentable when no commercial value has been shown. The authors then defend their solution by showing that ESTs have some value, that patenting ESTs is almost always a bad idea, and that a better solution is not yet known.

Paul Jacobs and Peter G. Gosselin
Experts Fret Over Effects of Gene Patents on Research
L.A. Times, Feb. 28, 2000, at 1
The adverse effect of gene patents on drug research and development is discussed in this article pertaining specifically to a new AIDS drug. The authors discuss how a gene patent was issued to a company that did not know that the gene would play a role in developing an AIDS drug.

S. C. Jong and R. H. Cypess
Managing Genetic Material to Protect Intellectual Property Rights
20 J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 95-100 (1998)
Protection of intellectual property rights for discoveries in biotechnology is highly encouraged by the authors. They recommend that strategic and distributive alliances be used as a means of exploiting the economic value of biotechnology discoveries.

Jonathan Kahn
What's the Use? Law and Authority in Patenting Human Genetic Material
14 Stan. L. & Pol'y Rev. 417 (2003)
The author discusses how intellectual property law addresses genes and genetic technologies and examines the ethical, social and political effects of gene patents. He also discusses Patent and Trademark Office policy towards gene patents as well as the relationship between individuals and their own genetic material.

Elaine M. Kane
Splitting the Gene: DNA Patents and the Genetic Code
71 Tenn. L. Rev. 707 (2004)
The author proposes giving a greater recognition to the dual identity of the gene - both a static chemical compound and a dynamic template as the genetic code. The article analyzes whether genes are of eligible subject matter for patentability taking into account this dual identity.

Daniel J. Kevles and Ari Berkowitz
The Gene Patenting Controversy: A Convergence of Law, Economic Interests, and Ethics
67 Brook. L. Rev. 233-48 (2001)
The authors state that gene patents became controversial because of the economic interests of the parties involved. The authors argue that this controversy has introduced ethics into patent law for the first time.

Sheldon Krimsky
The Profit of Scientific Discovery and its Normative Implications
75 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 15-39 (1999)
The commercialization of biotechnology and how it has impacted the traditional structure of science is discussed in this article. The author also touches upon how such commercialization was aided by granting intellectual property rights to discoveries in biotechnology.

Bruce A. Lehman
Making the World Safe for Biotech Patents
6 J. of Biolaw & Bus. 3-7 (2003)
The author, who at the time was the President of the International Intellectual Property Institute, provides background on why the biotechnology industry has turned people against the patent system. He then proposes that biotechnology companies should reach out to underdeveloped parts of the world as a way for them to quell criticism over the patenting of genes.

Debra G. B. Leonard
Medical Practice and Gene Patents: A Personal Perspective
77 Academic Medicine 1388-91 (2002)
Drawing from her own personal experiences as a molecular genetic pathologist, the author explains why the patenting of genes is bad public health policy. She also rebuts several arguments in favor of gene patenting, such as the need for financial incentive to support research, by arguing that physicians and researchers have performed similar research without financial incentives.

Jon F. Merz and Michelle R. Henry
The Prevalence of Patent Interferences in Gene Technology
22 Nature Biotechnology 153-54 (2004)
The relatively high number of interferences filed in the biotechnology and organic chemistry industry compared to numerous other industries is examined in this article. Interference is the process in the United States Patent and Trademark Office that allows it to determine which party was the first to invent.

Jon F. Merz, Antigone G. Kriss, Debra G. B. Leonard and Mildred K. Cho
Diagnostic Testing Fails the Test: The Pitfalls of Patents are Illustrated by the Case of Haemochromatosis
415 Nature 577-79 (2002)
The authors conducted a survey of laboratories that appeared capable of offering the genetic test for hereditary haemochromatosis to study the impact of the patent on the HFE gene. The authors concluded that the patents on the HFE gene had an adverse affect on the development and availability of the test.

Jon F. Merz
Patents Limit Medical Potential of Sequencing
419 Nature 878 (2002)
In a response to an article that reported that a person's personal genetic sequence may one day be available for less than one-thousand dollars, the author explains how gene patents make such a proposition nearly impossible. The author specifically points to some U.S. companies that do not license their patented genes and charge high royalty costs.

Jon F. Merz, David Magnus, Mildred K. Cho, and Arthur L. Caplan
Protecting Subjects' Interests in Genetics Research
70 Am. J. Hum. Genetics 965-71 (2002)
The authors argue for greater protection of patients' rights in genetic research and state that such issues are best resolved early in the research process.

Jon F. Merz
Disease Gene Patents: Overcoming Unethical Constraints on Clinical Laboratory Medicine
45 Clinical Chemistry 324-30 (1999)
The adverse affects of disease gene patents on a physician's ability to treat patients are discussed in this article. The author explains why he believes that compulsory licensing should be required for physicians providing medical services.

Jon F. Merz and Mildred K. Cho
Disease Genes Are Not Patentable: A Rebuttal of McGee
7 Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 425-28 (1998)
To better explain why genes should not be patentable subject matter, the authors use an analogy of a method of detecting White Truffles. Although a useful and profitable discovery, both methods are phenomena of nature and therefore unpatentable subject matter.

Jon F. Merz, Mildred K. Cho, and Debra G. B. Leonard
Testing for Alzheimer's
281 Science 1285 (1998)
Ethical concerns and a potential conflict of interest in academic researchers that stand to benefit from their scientific discoveries are highlighted in this letter to the editor. The authors use the example of an article that failed to disclose that a researcher who supported widespread molecular testing for late-onset Alzheimer's disease stood to benefit from his own testimony.

Dianne Nicol, Margaret Otlowski, and Don Chalmers
Consent, Commercialisation and Benefit Sharing
9 J.L. & Med. 80-94 (2001)
The rights of the source of biological material in commercialization and profit-sharing are considered in this article. The authors suggest that a donor's waiver of interest in commercial uses should be made clear at the initiation of the research. They also suggest that it should be made clearer to donors that they will not be able to share in profits obtained through their participation.

Lori Pressman, Richard Burgess, Robert Cook-Deegan, Stephen McCormack, Io Nami-Wolk, Melissa Soucy and LeRoy Walters
The Licensing of DNA Patents by U.S. Academic Institutions: An Empirical Survey
24 Nature Biotech. 31 (2006)
Researchers surveyed technology transfer offices at top research academic institutions to examine the effects of licensing on genomics research. The researchers report that universities are major players in the patenting and licensing of gene patents. Respondents reported that they are very likely to exclusively license DNA sequences that encode therapeutic proteins.

Arti Rai
Allocating Power Over Fact-Finding in the Patent System
19 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 907-922 (2004)
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) have issued reports that recommend shifting fact-finding power away from the USPTO because both agencies report that the USPTO has a lack of competence in fact-finding. The author suggests that where the two reports differ in analysis and recommendations, the FTC's report may more accurately diagnose and fix fact-finding problems.

Lawrence M. Rausch
International Patenting of Human DNA Sequences
333 National Science Foundation (2002)
This InfoBrief prepared by the National Science Foundation examines gene patents that have been filed in more than one country. The study shows that the United States has accounted for more gene patents than all other countries combined.

David B. Resnik
DNA Patents and Human Dignity
29 J.L. Med. & Ethics 152-63 (2001)
The effect that gene patents have on human dignity is discussed in this article. The author points out that human dignity is not violated by gene patents, but that it is threatened by it because it applies market language to human DNA, lessening the value of human life. The author feels that gene patenting is only part of a larger picture that threatens human dignity and that banning gene patents would not end all threats to human dignity.

Anna Schissel, Jon F. Merz, and Mildred Cho
Survey Confirms Fears About Licensing of Genetic Tests
402 Nature 118 (1999)
A survey of thirty-three patents in the United States that broadly cover the diagnosis of human genetic disorders was performed, and the results showed that the exclusive licensing of patents permits clinical testing services to be monopolized. The authors' results showed how the patent holders licensed their patents and whether they would enforce their patents.

Carol A. Schneider, Felicia Cohn, and Cynthia Bonner
Human Genetics: Legal, Medical and Ethical Perspectives: Patenting Life: A View from the Constitution and Beyond
24 Whittier L. Rev. 385-96 (2002)
The patentability of genes and whether they meet traditional notions of patent law are discussed in this article. The authors further argue that there needs to be more debate to determine how gene patents will affect all parties involved.

Seth Shulman
Toward Sharing the Genome
Technology Review (Jan. 11, 2002)
The author discusses the pressing need for governing policies that balance the public interest in protecting the human genome as a common resource to be shared freely with commercial interests in gene-related patents. To achieve this balance, the author suggest five steps that should be taken: a government mandate that raw gene sequences cannot be privately owned; a moratorium on gene patenting until clear, comprehensive rules are in place; a compulsory licensing system to ensure access for medical researchers to patented gene sequences; formation of a standard-setting group to shape policy; and a focus on the effects of gene patents on the public health when considering the policies to be enacted.

Deborah Smith
Cancer Capitalists
Sydney Morning Herald, Nov. 9, 2002, at 37
Myriad Genetics and the effect of their breast cancer gene patent in Australia are discussed in this article. It includes the views of patient groups and genetic testing companies on gene patents.

Melissa L. Sturges
Who Should Hold Property Rights to the Human Genome? An Application of the Common Heritage of Humankind
13 Am. U. Int'l L. Rev. 219-61 (1997)
The author argues that the Common Heritage principle should be used as a guideline to regulate how the human genome will be used internationally. If the Common Heritage principle were used, the human genome could not be patented and would belong to everyone.

Birgit Verbeure, Gert Matthijs, and Geertrui Van Overwalle
Analysing DNA Patents in Relation with Diagnostic Genetic Testing
14 Eur. J. of Human Genetics 26 (2006)
The researchers searched for DNA patents in the U.S. and in Europe related to diagnostic genetic testing. They conclude that medical geneticist and researchers may find it difficult to determine who owns what rights and how to obtain licenses they may need.

John P. Walsh, Ashish Arora, and Wesley M. Cohen
Working Through the Patent Problem
299 Science 1021 (2003)
The authors took a survey of professionals involved in the biotechnology field, including intellectual property attorneys, biotechnology firms, and university researchers, to determine if the granting of gene patents has slowed down discoveries. The authors call for the continuing support of open science where genetic discoveries remain available for researchers to use without worrying about patent infringement.


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