Gene Patents | Reports

American Medical Association
Report 9 on the Council of Scientific Affairs (I-00): Patenting of Genes and Their Mutations
Dec. 2000
The American Medical Association (AMA) is a professional organization for physicians concerned with issues that affect patients and the public health. The AMA's report on gene patents discusses the dilemma that gene patents have raised and possible changes proposed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Australian Law Reform Commission
Genes and Ingenuity: Gene Patenting and Human Health
June 2004
The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) is a permanent, independent federal statutory corporation that conducts inquiries into areas of law reform when requested by the Attorney-General of Australia. This is the final report of the ALRC on intellectual property rights over genes and genetic related technologies, and it includes 50 recommendations for reform.

Australian Law Reform Commission
Issue Paper 27: Gene Patenting and Human Health
July 2003
This ALRC issue paper discusses how Australia can best benefit from protecting biotechnology intellectual property rights while balancing these concerns with the public health. It also established the issues and questions that the ALRC would investigate for its final report.

Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee
Patenting of Higher Life Forms
June 2002
The Committee advises the Canadian government on all aspects of biotechnology. The report investigates, among other things, social and ethical issues invoked by biotechnology and the patenting of human beings.

Commission on Intellectual Property Rights
Integrating Intellectual Property Rights and Development Policy
Chapter 6, Sep. 2002
The Commission was set-up by the United Kingdom Government's White Paper on InterDevelopment to determine how intellectual property rules should be altered to better suit the needs of developing countries and their people. The Commission's final report recommends that developing nations completely exclude the patentability of "diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical methods for the treatment of human and animals." It also recommends that developing nations apply strict standards to novelty requirements and the scope of claims.

Greenpeace International
The True Cost of Gene Patents: The Economic and Social Consequences of Patenting Genes and Living Organisms
March 2004
Greenpeace discusses how the patenting of nucleotide sequences hinders medical institutions, particularly in the field of diagnostics, and impedes research and development, particularly in the field of infectious diseases. The organization concludes: "Genes must therefore be considered far more as encoded information than as patentable chemical substances. Present patenting practice, where the statement of just one commercial application of a gene is enough to claim a monopoly on all uses of the gene, leads to gross overcompensation and considerable impediments to research."

Mae-Wan Ho
Why Biotech Patents are Patently Absurd - Scientific Briefing on TRIPs and Related Issues
Feb. 2001
The author wrote this report for the Institute of Science in Society, a London based scientific society whose goal is to promote science. The report explains the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement and argues that it is flawed because it obstructs the rights of poor countries and forces biotechnology patents to be enforced in all member States.

National Academy Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy
"A Patent System for the 21st Century"
The report of the National Academy's Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy, evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. patent system as it adapted to emerging technologies, particularly those in the biotechnology sector. The Board made several recommendations to improve the patent system, including "reinvigorat[ing] the non-obviousness standard. . . . Gene sequence patents present a particular problem because of a Federal Circuit ruling whose practical effect was to make it difficult to make a case of obviousness against a biological macromolecule claimed by its structure. This is unwise in its own right and is also inconsistent with patent practice in other countries. The court should return to a standard that would not grant a patent for an innovation that any skilled colleague would also have tried with a 'reasonable expectation of success.'" (Page 9-10).

Nuffield Council on Bioethics
The Ethics of Patenting DNA
July 2002
The Council is an independent group established by the Trustees of the Nuffield Foundation, a United Kingdom charitable trust. It examined the ethical and social issues of patenting DNA. The report breaks DNA sequences into four separate categories of uses to show that a more stringent requirement is needed when dealing with patenting genetic sequences.

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Genetics, Testing & Gene Patenting: Charting New Territory
Jan. 2002
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is the Ontario governmental body that deals with health and long-term care issues. The report suggests how the latest discoveries in biotechnology might affect the healthcare system in Ontario. Among other things, the report states that the Canadian patent system has not progressed as rapidly as the biotechnology industry and needs to be reevaluated.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Genetic Inventions, Intellectual Property Rights and Licensing Practices: Evidence and Policy
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development consists of thirty member countries that are concerned with economic and social issues. The report details problems that researchers, firms, or clinical users may encounter when they attempt to gain access to information found in gene patents. The report also discusses possible solutions to some of the problems.

President's Council on Bioethics, Staff Working Paper
Patenting Human Organisms
July 2002
The President's Council on Bioethics was created by the President of the U.S., George W. Bush, to advise him on advances in biotechnology that may raise ethical issues. Background information on the patenting of human organisms, as well as issues that arise out of the patenting of human organisms, are discussed in this paper. The Council concludes by presenting a narrowly focused project if the Council were to further pursue this issue.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and International Bioethics Committee (IBC)
Report of the IBC on Ethics, Intellectual Property and Genomics
Jan. 10, 2002
UNESCO is a United Nations agency that deals with the latest ethical issues in hopes of providing greater international cooperation among its almost 200 member States. It assigned the IBC with the task of creating a report based upon a symposium held in early 2001, entitled, "Ethics, Intellectual Property and Genomics." The report discusses how the mapping of the human genome can best serve humanity.

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