Tag Archives | Patents

Who Owns You? 20% of the Genes in Your Body are Patented (Video)

Who Owns You?Drew Halley writes on Singularity Hub:

Here’s a disconcerting thought: for the past thirty years, genes have been patentable. And we’re not just talking genetically modified corn — your genes, pretty much as they exist in your body, can and have been patented. The US government reports over three million gene patent applications have been filed so far; over 40,000 patents are held on sections of the human genome, covering roughly 20% of our genes.

Upset? You’re not alone. Critics argue that the patents stifle potential research into disease, keep new treatments off the market, and bring in serious money to Big Pharma — all by exercising property claims that shouldn’t exist. After all, genes aren’t inventions, which are patentable — they’re discoveries, which aren’t.

Singularity Hub recently interviewed Dr. David Koepsell … His book Who Owns You? is currently being adapted into a documentary film, including interviews with experts like James Watson and Tim Hubbard. Check out the preview:

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93% of Soybeans, 80% of Corn Grown from Genetically-Modified Monsanto Seeds

MonsantoRainPeter Whoriskey reports in the Washington Post:

For plants designed in a lab a little more than a decade ago, they’ve come a long way: Today, the vast majority of the nation’s two primary crops grow from seeds genetically altered according to Monsanto company patents.

Ninety-three percent of soybeans. Eighty percent of corn.

The seeds represent “probably the most revolutionary event in grain crops over the last 30 years,” said Geno Lowe, a Salisbury, Md., soybean farmer.

But for farmers such as Lowe, prices of the Monsanto-patented seeds have steadily increased, roughly doubling during the past decade, to about $50 for a 50-pound bag of soybean seed, according to seed dealers.

The revolution, and Monsanto’s dominant role in the nation’s agriculture, has not unfolded without complaint. Farmers have decried the price increases, and competitors say the company has ruthlessly stifled competition.

Now Monsanto — like IBM and Google — has drawn scrutiny from U.S.

Read the rest

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Is Cancer Research Being Blocked By Patents?

The ACLU just joined 20 plaintiffs – including the Public Patent Office – fighting to invalidate an exclusive patent on the genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The patent has given Myriad Genetics exclusive rights to diagnostic tests – which they sell for over $3,000 – plus control over the rights to even conduct experiments on these genes!

“Gene patents undermine the free exchange of information and scientific freedom,” argues the ACLU, saying the patents also compromise the integrity of our bodies and eventually our health.

Ultimately this case could answer the question of whether it’s legal to patent a gene…… Read the rest

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