Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Body Snatchers are Alive and Well : In ACLU v. Myriad, the Battle over DNA Patents Rages

The Daily Scan at the GenomeWeb headlines In ACLU v. Myriad, It's Scientific Accuracy, 0, and Wild Speculation, 1, writing:
"Unless you've been living under a sequencer, you already know that the ACLU v. Myriad gene patent hearings began yesterday. Daily Scan was there for the circus, held in a standing-room-only courtroom in downtown New York. The ACLU attorneys spent much of their time arguing that isolated DNA was not 'markedly different' from native DNA, and therefore not eligible for patent protection."
The case involves the attempt to patent "isolated" DNA pursuant to the claim that such "isolated DNA" does not appear in that "cut way" as native DNA, i.e. that if you take a set of links out of a previously existing chain link, THAT is an invention.

One has to view this all with a sense of humor. Is it not amazing the creative lengths to which human beings in our society will go to make money? to obtain monopolies where possible and then to subsequently "rip off" their fellows commercially if they can.

A DNA patent means essentially that if "Institution A" obtained a patent on "isolated DNA X" then another "Institution B" which e.g. isolated that same "DNA X" out of YOUR body could not do a thing with it because "Institution A" would OWN the "patent" to that isolated DNA.

We have serious difficulties in viewing DNA patenting as anything other than a gross absurdity. If DNA patents are approved, thousands of commercial enterprises will soon OWN the patents to your body and mine. The patent trolls will function as the body snatchers of the future.

Frankly, from our point of view, the answer in this case has to be - NOT PATENTABLE - because it is NOT man's invention, but God's invention, and God's inventions - whether in whole or in part - are not patentable - at least, given the way that we read the U.S. Constitution.

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