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About Patents, Other Intellectual Property & Human Biotechnology

Human biotechnology is both constrained and catalyzed by intellectual property law, which regulates who can use certain information, ideas, and processes. Patents—one form of intellectual property—give the holder an exclusive right to produce and sell an invention.

While patents provide an incentive to inventors, they can also inhibit information flow. Their management has a tremendous impact on how biotechnologies are developed, and who benefits from them.

In the United States, the development of biotechnology has been dramatically influenced by two developments in 1980 that greatly increased the incentives for the commercialization of the life sciences. Congress passed the Bayh-Dole Act, which reformed how inventions from federally-funded research are managed. The same year, the Supreme Court ruled in Diamond v. Chakrabarty that living things, including genes, could be patented.

Gene-editing firms form patent alliance against Editas, Broadby Max StendahlBoston Business JournalDecember 16th, 2016The announcement formalizes a legal coordination and cost-sharing arrangement among four biotech companies.
Bioterrorism And Gene Editing: Can Crispr Tool Be Used As Biological Weapon In War?by Himanshu GoenkaIB TimesDecember 14th, 2016Given its broad distribution, low cost, and accelerated pace of development, deliberate or unintentional misuse of gene editing might have far-reaching economic and national security implications.
CRISPR Heavyweights Battle in U.S. Patent Courtby Sara ReardonNatureDecember 7th, 2016UC Berkeley and the Broad Institute are vying for lucrative rights to the gene-editing system. The December 6 hearing was the first and only time the two sides will speak to the judges before the ruling.
Review of Blame: A Novelby Abby Lippman, Biopolitical Times guest contributorNovember 28th, 2016Blame is especially important for those unfamiliar with the range of ethical, social, legal, and political issues raised by applications of what is learned in a lab. While a work of fiction, it is definitely not science-fiction
San Diego Scientists Help Develop New Twist On In Vitro Fertilizationby David WagnerKPBSNovember 10th, 2016The patent holder for a related "3-person IVF" technique reports new work with "polar body genome transfer." Some experts say none of these approaches have been proven safe.
Where Traditional DNA Testing Fails, Algorithms Take Overby Lauren KirchnerProPublicaNovember 4th, 2016Various "probabilistic genotyping" programs undermine due process as defense attorneys, judges, and jurors can't access their proprietary inner workings.
Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Cropsby Danny HakimThe New York TimesOctober 29th, 2016Genetic modification in the US and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to overall reduction in pesticide use.
Fruity with a hint of double helix: A startup claims to tailor wine to your DNAby Rebecca RobbinsSTAT NewsOctober 27th, 2016Sequencing giant Illumina's new app store Helix is leading the charge of linking DNA analysis to lifestyle marketing.
Are Altered Mosquitoes a Public Health Project, or a Business?by Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewOctober 27th, 2016The fight against dengue and Zika in Latin America is turning into a contest between mosquito-altering technologies, and between profits and public health.
Blame bad incentives for bad scienceby Bethany BerkshireScienceNewsOctober 21st, 2016The publish-or-perish culture rewards researchers for the number of papers they publish, leading to sloppy and irreproducible science, and sometimes unethical practices.
Just What We Need: Slicker Infertility Marketingby Gina Maranto, Biopolitical Times guest contributorOctober 21st, 2016A serial tech entrepreneur launches a new start-up called Prelude with a hipster-chic website downplaying the many unknowns of egg freezing.
Crispr’s IPO doesn’t hit its targetby Robert WeismanThe Boston GlobeOctober 19th, 2016CRISPR Therapeutics' public offering raises half that of its rivals Editas & Intellia -- a sign that the market may be pulling back on genome editing stocks.
California stem cell agency approves $30 million to fast-track clinical trialsby David JensenThe Sacramento BeeOctober 19th, 2016Dubbed the new "pitching machine," CIRM's new $30 million effort is designed to accelerate clinical trials of stem cell therapies.
Don’t Miss This: The Story of CRISPR Told in a Comicby Kayla TolentinoOctober 6th, 2016Illustrator Andy Warner helps to break down the complexities of the still unraveling CRISPR gene editing story in his recent piece "Bad Blood."
Dramatic Twists Could Upend Patent Battle Over CRISPR Genome-Editing Methodby Jon CohenScience MagazineOctober 5th, 2016The Broad Institute has asked officials to separate four of its issued patents from the larger case, which could permit "a way for both sides to walk away with a little IP in their pockets."
Titanic Clash Over CRISPR Patents Turns Uglyby Heidi LedfordNature September 21st, 2016The billion-dollar patent battle over CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing has moved from scientific minutiae to accusations of impropriety.
Hacking life: Scientists ‘recode’ DNA in step toward lab-made organismsby Sharon BegleySTATAugust 18th, 2016It may not be long before scientists assemble genomes of higher organisms, as George Church proposed to do for the human genome.
In CRISPR Fight, Co-Inventor Says Broad Institute Misled Patent Officeby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewIs an email between competing researchers a smoking gun in the billion-dollar battle over patent rights for gene editing?
CRISPR patent fight: The legal bills are soaringby Sharon BegleySTATAugust 16th, 2016Editas has already spent $10.9 million in 2016. Many in the CRISPR field wonder privately why the Broad Institute and UC Berkeley have not reached a settlement.
What happens when anyone can edit genes at home? We’re about to find outby Dyllan FurnessDigital TrendsAugust 15th, 2016Scientists express concern about the unintentional consequences of gene editing starter kits proliferating in biohacking communities.
Illumina Would Like You to Sequence More DNA, Pleaseby Sarah ZhangWIREDAugust 15th, 2016The leader of the DNA sequencing market has a start-up accelerator program to find new applications for its technology.
Athletes are keeping their distance from a genetic test for concussion risksby Rebecca RobbinsSTATAugust 15th, 2016Sports competitors, insurers, and researchers are cautious about the privacy and geneticization issues behind testing for "athletic" genes.
Ethical questions raised in search for Sardinian centenarians' secretsby Stephanie KirchgaessnerThe GuardianAugust 12th, 2016Samples from residents of Sardinia’s "Blue Zone," who are famed for longevity, have been sold to a for-profit British research firm.
The Human Genome Is Having Its Facebook Momentby Whet MoserChicago MagazineAugust 9th, 2016In less than a decade, as many people could have their genomes sequenced as use the social networking site (~1.7 billion monthly users).
The surprisingly small benefit of some very (expensive) Big Ideasby Joe GibesBioethics @ TIUAugust 5th, 2016A new article in JAMA looks at the unfulfilled hype that has become entrenched in the fields of stem cells, genetics, and electronic health records.
US government may fund research to combine human cells and animal cellsAssociated Foreign PressAugust 5th, 2016Stuart Newman asks: What if we have pigs with human brains and they are wondering why we are doing experiments on them? What about human bodies with animal brains? Could we harvest organs from them?
Price Gouging and the Dangerous New Breed of Pharma Companiesby A. Gordon SmithHarvard Business ReviewJuly 6th, 2016Some pharmaceutical companies prioritize profits instead of research.
The Supreme Court decision that's shaking up biotechby Damian GardeSTATJune 27th, 2016A lower court's decision will stand: Sequenom can't patent its prenatal gene test because it is based on a natural biological process.
25 Scientists Just Made A $1 Billion Pitch To Build A Human Genome From Scratchby Nidhi SubbaramanBuzzFeedJune 2nd, 2016Drew Endy and Laurie Zoloth argue the project fails to ask a basic question: “Is developing capacities to synthesize human genomes a good idea?”
How should we pay for gene therapy?by Aaron Carroll (The Incidental Economist)Academy Health BlogMay 27th, 2016Unless pricing is regulated, gene therapies will likely be too expensive for most people to afford.
In dramatic statement, European leaders call for ‘immediate’ open access to all scientific papers by 2020by Martin EnserinkScience MagazineMay 27th, 2016The Competitiveness Council admits the task may be difficult, but a consensus has been reached.
After rivals’ IPOs, will CRISPR Therapeutics go public or stay buttoned-down?by Damian GardeSTATMay 12th, 2016Like CRISPR Therapeutics, Intellia and Editas were once cagey about their development pipelines, but in documents filed with the government prior to their IPOs, they had to spell out the what, when, and how of their work.
Three Cambridge startups are on a mission to fix broken genesby Robert WeismanThe Boston GlobeMay 11th, 2016Editas, Intellia, and CRISPR Therapeutics aim to cure diseases from cancer to blood disorders, but these would-be gene editors also must navigate a new round of ethical questions.
Hacking CRISPR: Patents, Gene Therapy & Embryosby Elliot HosmanMay 5th, 2016As gene editing experiments on human embryos spread, piecemeal hacks of CRISPR are outpacing discussions of the futures it might enable.
With CRISPR in Humans On the Horizon, Will the Public Back Intellia?by Alex LashXconomyApril 29th, 2016Intellia and Editas both lack what so many biotech investors crave: data from human clinical trials. As they race to the clinic, it's hard to tell if either company will pay off.
A Single $249 Test Analyzes 30 Cancer Genes. But Do You Need It?by Sarah ZhangWIREDApril 28th, 2016Color Genomics is marketing gene tests for 30 cancers, but doctors caution that our ability to sequence DNA has far outpaced our ability to understand what the results mean.
A DNA Sequencer in Every Pocketby Ed YongThe AtlanticApril 28th, 2016Oxford Nanopore Technologies, which severed financial ties with DNA sequencing monolith Illumina in 2013, is "desperately thinking of ways of bringing them down.” These include a USB-powered sequencer called the MinION.
Scientists solve CRISPR’s ‘Energizer bunny’ problemby Sharon BegleySTATApril 27th, 2016A new CRISPR system called "CORRECT" stopped Cas9 from cutting again and again, and allowed researchers to edit one but not both copies of a target gene.
Meet The New CEO Of The $22 Billion Genomics Company You've Never Heard Ofby Christine FarrFast CompanyApril 27th, 2016Gene-sequencing giant Illumina is expanding to direct-to-consumer tests and perhaps brand partnerships, says new CEO Francis deSouza.
Why Does Silicon Valley Want to Get So Many Women Pregnant?by Sarah EmersonMotherboard [VICE]April 22nd, 2016Women’s fertility apps have found a profitable niche in the predominantly male tech scene. The tech industry hopes they’ll deliver a lot of valuable private information.
Eric Lander talks CRISPR and the infamous Nobel ‘rule of three’by Joel AchenbachThe Washington PostApril 21st, 2016Lander urged scientific modesty about new gene editing tools: “We are terrible predictors of the consequences of the changes we make.”
Scientists unveil the ‘most clever CRISPR gadget’ so farby Sharon BegleySTATApril 20th, 2016A new "base editing" method attempts to switch out individual letters of DNA, but its usefulness and precision are unclear.
Gene-edited CRISPR mushroom escapes US regulationby Emily WaltzNatureApril 14th, 2016A mushroom has become the first CRISPR-edited organism to attain approval for sale without USDA regulation.
CRISPR: Pursuit of profit poisons collaborationby Jacob S. SherkowNature April 13th, 2016Overzealous efforts to commercialize technology can damage science.
The Scientific Swap Meet Behind the Gene-Editing Boomby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewApril 8th, 2016A Cambridge non-profit called AddGene, described as "Amazon.com for biological parts," ships CRISPR-Cas9 parts all over the world.
CRISPR dispute raises bigger patent issues that we’re not talking aboutby Shobita ParthasarathyThe ConversationApril 4th, 2016CRISPR patents will confer enormous control over how the controversial technology develops, and what kinds of human genetic engineering might become commercially available.
Report Shows Theranos Testing Plagued by Problemsby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesMarch 31st, 2016The company used unqualified personnel, stored samples at improper temperatures, and failed to ensure that the quality control for an important blood-clotting test was acceptable before reporting results for patients.
Like air and water, DNA should not be patentableby Andre PicardThe Globe and Mail [Canada]March 22nd, 2016Publicly funded hospitals in Canada are no longer bound by five gene patents that stood in the way of testing and notifying children with potentially deadly heart conditions.
People Are Going To Prison Thanks To DNA Software — But How It Works Is Secretby Stephanie M. LeeBuzzFeedMarch 12th, 2016Private companies are developing cutting-edge DNA analysis software used to convict people, but source codes are protected from independent validation because they are "trade secrets."
CRISPR Eugenics in The X Filesby Elliot HosmanMarch 10th, 2016In the comeback season finale, the show explores the use of human gene editing to combat global warming and overpopulation.
CRISPR patent belongs to aliensby Sara ReardonNatureFebruary 29th, 2016Returning with a new season after over a decade, The X Files uses technologies like CRISPR gene editing to tell stories at the intersection of science, politics, and conspiracy theories.
Illumina, the Google of Genetic Testing, Has Plans for World Dominationby Sarah ZhangWiredFebruary 26th, 2016As lucrative as its 90 percent slice is for Illumina now, the whole pie is likely to get even bigger in the future.
Caribou Bio’s New CRISPR Patent Isn’t About Gene Editingby Alex LashXconomyFebruary 18th, 2016A new patent highlights a lower-profile potential use for the "gene editing" biotechnology: genetic detection and analysis.
The Battle Over CRISPR Could Make Or Break Some Biotech Companies[cites CGS' Marcy Darnovsky]by Farai ChideyaFiveThirtyEightJanuary 25th, 2016CRISPR is caught up in public offerings and a patent dispute. If used to "edit" heritable traits, it could lead us into a world of genetic haves and have-nots.
CRISPR Patent War: Billions at Stake for UC Berkeleyby Lindsey HoshawKQEDJanuary 15th, 2016Whoever gets the patent will set the terms for how the technology is used.
Study: Transparency Lacking in Biomedical Literatureby Anna AzvolinskyThe ScientistJanuary 4th, 2016"There is a growing momentum and appreciation for the importance of open science and recognition that our scientific enterprise may not be serving the public interest by sequestering data."
Historic CRISPR Patent Fight Primed To Become Head-To-Head Battleby Alex LashXconomyJanuary 4th, 2016A USPTO patent examiner recommends kicking Jennifer Doudna's application upstairs. The case will be decided under the old "first to invent" standard.
A startup that wants to start using a controversial gene-editing tool in people by 2017 just filed to go publicby Lydia RamseyBusiness InsiderJanuary 4th, 2016Editas Medicine, co-founded by Feng Zhang, is developing a CRISPR gene therapy for rare blindness with human trials planned for 2017.
Gene Therapy: Comeback? Cost-Prohibitive?by Elliot Hosman, Biopolitical TimesNovember 19th, 2015Recent CRISPR news sometimes confuses germline modification - which should be put off limits - and gene therapy, which presents its own set of social and ethical risks to resolve before rushing to market.
Who Owns Molecular Biology?by Yarden KatzBoston ReviewOctober 28th, 2015A researcher at the Broad Institute explores the patent issues surrounding CRISPR-Cas gene editing, and argues for a more just sharing and distribution system for scientific research.
Genes can’t be patented, rules Australia’s High Courtby Michael SlezakNew ScientistOctober 7th, 2015The decision is considered stronger than the similar one by the US Supreme Court.
CRISPR-Cpf1: Hype by Association by Elliot HosmanOctober 2nd, 2015Amid Nobel Prize predictions for CRISPR-Cas9 research, a new CRISPR associated protein takes the media and science community by storm, even as its utility remains unclear.
Scientists Find Gene Editing with CRISPR Hard to Resist[quotes Marcy Darnovsky and Pete Shanks]by Cameron ScottHealthlineSeptember 29th, 2015CRISPR is so cheap and easy to use, we may be genetically engineering human embryos before we have time to decide if we should.
New CRISPR Protein Slices through Genomes, Patent Problemsby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewSeptember 25th, 2015With patent rights and Nobel Prize announcements pending, the Broad Institute's Feng Zhang reports the development of a new CRISPR gene editing enzyme.
What Will 120 Million CRISPR Dollars Buy?by Elliot HosmanBiopolitical TimesAugust 13th, 2015As Editas Medicine receives major injection of financing, how will the genetics boom impact funding for public health?
UC, MIT Battle Over Patent to Gene-Editing Toolby Lisa M. KriegerSan Jose Mercury NewsMay 9th, 2015UC Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna filed for a patent first. But in a shocking turn of events, MIT and Zhang won last month, earning the patent that covers use of CRISPR in every species except bacteria.
U.S. Proposes Effort to Analyze DNA from 1 Million Peopleby Toni Clarke and Sharon BegleyReutersJanuary 30th, 2015At the heart of the "precision medicine" initiative is the creation of a pool of people who would be studied to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease.
Stem Cell Clinics, FDA, and Giant, Unapproved For-Profit Human Experimentsby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogJanuary 27th, 2015The argument by for-profit clinics for stem cell deregulation and weakening of the FDA’s role in regulating stem cell products is a direct challenge to our system of science-based medicine.
Myriad Genetics Ending Patent Dispute on Breast Cancer Risk Testingby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesJanuary 27th, 2015The company has settled or is in the process of settling patent-infringement lawsuits it filed against other companies that now offer such testing.
Obama to Request Research Funding for Treatments Tailored to Patients’ DNAby Robert PearThe New York TimesJanuary 24th, 2015President Obama will seek hundreds of millions of dollars for a new initiative to develop medical treatments tailored to genetic and other characteristics of individual patients.
European Court Opens Door for Stem Cell PatentingGenetic Engineering & Biotechnology NewsDecember 18th, 2014The European Court of Justice ruled that human embryonic stem cell patents could be allowed if organisms can't develop into human being.
Myriad Loses Appeals Court Bid to Block Breast Cancer Testsby Susan DeckerBloomberg BusinessweekDecember 17th, 2014Myriad Genetics can’t block competitors’ DNA tests to determine risk for breast and ovarian cancer after a US appeals court said three patents on the tests never should have been issued.
Have New Prenatal Tests Been Dangerously Oversold?by Beth DaleyNew England Center for Investigative ReportingDecember 12th, 2014Many prenatal testing companies promise more than they can deliver. Two studies show that results can be a false alarm half of the time.
Who Owns the Biggest Biotech Discovery of the Century?by Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewDecember 4th, 2014At stake are rights to an invention that may be the most important new genetic engineering technique since the beginning of the biotechnology age in the 1970s: the CRISPR system.
Evaluating California’s Stem Cell Experimentby David E. JensenSacramento BeeNovember 15th, 2014CIRM expects to be taking part in 10 early-stage clinical trials this year; however, no California-financed cures or therapies have reached the clinic and none are likely to do so for years.
Patently Absurd? Or Absurdly Patentable?by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesNovember 12th, 2014The US Supreme Court might agree to rule on the validity of stem-cell patents, and the Canadian courts are being asked to invalidate a patent on disease-linked genes.
U.S. Gene Patents: Patient Care Stymied in Canada, Hospital ClaimsCBC News [Canada]November 3rd, 2014An Ottawa hospital is challenging the legality of gene patents that hamper the ability of doctors to freely screen for potentially deadly genetic diseases without fear of being sued for patent violations.
Open Letter to UK Parliament: Avoid Historic Mistake on Rushing Human Genetic Modificationby Paul KnoepflerKnoepfler Lab Stem Cell BlogNovember 2nd, 2014There are too many unanswered questions and risks that remain to allow it to proceed at this time. In fact, moving forward with it would most likely be a tragic mistake for the UK.
Is Freezing Your Eggs Dangerous? A Primerby Josephine Johnston and Miriam ZollNew RepublicNovember 1st, 2014This eagerness to push forward with non-medically necessary egg freezing services raises an important question: How safe and effective does a technology like this need to be before it is sold to young, fertile women?
Reality Check for Google’s Nanoparticle Health Testsby Kevin Bullis MIT Technology ReviewOctober 31st, 2014Google will face big challenges developing a nanotechnology-based test for cancer and other diseases.
Can Scientists Patent Life? The Question Returns to the Supreme Courtby Michael HiltzikLos Angeles TimesOctober 31st, 2014The thorny and unresolved question of whether life itself can be patented may come again before the U.S. Supreme Court, if it accepts a motion filed by Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog.
Africa: Synthetic Biology - Artificial Life Threatens Nature and Societyby Glenn AshtonAllAfricaOctober 30th, 2014Biologists continue to push the boundaries of their ability to alter life on earth in novel and unpredictable ways. The latest version is known as synthetic biology, or "synbio."
Cloning Whistleblower: Little Changed in S. Koreaby Youkyung LeeAssociated PressOctober 24th, 2014The whistle-blower who exposed breakthrough cloning research as a devastating fake says South Korea is still dominated by the values that allowed science fraudster Hwang Woo-suk to become an almost untouchable national hero.
Regulate Synthetic Biology Now: 194 CountriesSynBioWatchOctober 17th, 2014In a unanimous decision of 194 countries, the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity formally urged nation states to regulate synthetic biology.
The Genetics Epidemic: The Revolution in DNA Science -- And What To Do About Itby Jamie F. MetzlForeign AffairsOctober 12th, 2014The coming revolution in genetic engineering will be exciting to some, frightening to others, and challenging for all. If not adequately addressed, it will also likely lead to major conflict both within societies and globally.
Australian Appeals Court Upholds Patents on Isolated BRCA1 DNAby Robert Cook-DeeganGenomics Law ReportSeptember 30th, 2014The Australian court seems not to have dismissed the U.S. Supreme Court’s concern, but rather to have entirely missed it.
Kaiser Permanente's Genetic Database Is Boon to Medical Researchby Emily AnthesBloomberg BusinessweekSeptember 25th, 2014The health network has accumulated genetic data on more than 210,000 members.
Experts Provide Much-Needed Policy Analysis for Clinical Integration of Next Generation Sequencing by Glenna PictonBaylor College of Medicine NewsSeptember 22nd, 2014As genetic sequencing becomes part of clinical care, there is a critical need to establish appropriate policies and regulatory frameworks to address potential challenges.
Genetic Rights and Wrongsby EditorialNatureSeptember 9th, 2014Australia’s decision to uphold a patent on biological material is in danger of hampering the development of diagnostic tests.
Australian Federal Court Rules Isolated Genetic Material can be PatentedThe GuardianSeptember 4th, 2014The decision is likened to ‘being allowed to patent oxygen’, as critics warn of serious repercussions for medical research.
Synthetic biology goes for scaleby Joanna GlasnerReutersSeptember 2nd, 2014Synthetic biology, which uses engineered gene sequences to create new biological systems and devices, used to be a subject for futurists and sci-fi writers, but now is attracting large investments.
Biotech Reels Over Patent Rulingby Erika Check-HaydenNature NewsJuly 8th, 2014Firms fight for the right to patent natural products and processes.
Isolated Nucleic Acids are Patent Eligible in Australiaby Shelley RowlandLexologyJune 25th, 2014Applicants opposed to the patenting of human genetic material have lodged an appeal against Australia's Full Federal Court.
Stem Cells: Taking a Stand Against Pseudoscienceby Elena Cattaneo & Gilberto CorbelliniNatureJune 16th, 2014A pharmacologist and a bioethicist working to protect patients from questionable stem-cell therapies share their experiences in the fight against predatory pseudoscience.
Who Owns Your Genetic Data? Hint: It's Probably Not Youby Meredith SalisburyThe Huffington PostJune 12th, 2014It seems intuitive to many of us that each person owns his or her genetic data and therefore should control access. But the reality is more complex.
Property Rights and the Human Bodyby Jennifer K. WagnerGenomics Law ReportJune 11th, 2014A Canadian court decided that human tissue removed from the body for diagnostic medical tests is “personal property” that belongs to the hospital.
"This is Mine!": Property and Ethical Rights of Your Body by Yourself and Othersby Maurice BernsteinBioethics DiscussionJune 8th, 2014Through the rambling pathways of property and intellectual property law, we are fast approaching the point at which just about anyone can have property rights in your cells, except you.
Free Dolly!by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMay 15th, 2014The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled that cloned animals cannot be patented.
Dolly the Sheep’s Clones Deemed Unpatentable by U.S. Courtby Susan DeckerBloombergMay 8th, 2014The Scottish scientists famous for concocting Dolly the sheep lost a bid to get U.S. patent protection for the cloned animal. A court said their creations are just genetic copies of naturally occurring beings.
Beyond-DNA Dayby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 25th, 2014With a patent now issued for CRISPR genome-editing technology, and the first gene therapy approved by the FDA, this DNA Day will be remembered not for increased understanding of the human genome, but for increased attempts to change it.
Broad Institute Gets Patent on Revolutionary Gene-Editing Method by Susan Young RojahnMIT Technology ReviewApril 16th, 2014The Harvard-MIT genomic science institute stays mute on how it will assert control over the tools expected to speed cures and change gene therapy.
Startup Offering DNA Screening of 'Hypothetical Babies' Raises Fears Over Designer Children[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Catherine de LangeThe GuardianApril 5th, 2014Anne Morriss and Lee Silver are about to launch a company called Genepeeks that uses the DNA of sperm donors and recipients to create "virtual babies."
Breast Cancer Genes and Patient Protection in an Era of Personalized Medicineby Karuna JaggarHuffington PostMarch 20th, 2014Genetic testing is often heralded as a cornerstone of personalized medicine, but progress has lagged while persistent medical, ethical and scientific issues abound.
Hwang's Patented Fraud and
New Questions about STAP Cells
by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesFebruary 19th, 2014Hwang Woo-suk is awarded a U.S. patent based on the work for which he was disgraced almost a decade ago; an investigation is launched into some apparently similar errors in the recent STAP cell papers.
Disgraced Scientist Granted U.S. Patent for Work Found to be Fraudulentby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesFebruary 14th, 2014Korean researcher Hwang Woo-suk faked evidence of having created the world's first cloned human embryos, embezzled research funds and violated bioethics rules.
Myriad Settles Gene Patent Lawsuit Against Texas Firmby Tom HarveyThe Salt Lake TribuneFebruary 7th, 2014Myriad Genetics has reached a settlement with Gene by Gene Ltd. and vows to continue legal battles against other competitors trying to jump into the market.
Global Patent War Looms With Epoch-Making Discovery of STAP Cellsby Tatsuyuki Kobori and Akiyoshi AbeThe Asahi ShimbunFebruary 3rd, 2014Japanese researcher Haruko Obokata's recent breakthrough in the creation of pluripotent stem cells in mice is set to trigger an all-out global patent war.
Gene Patent Case Fuels U.S. Court Test of Stem Cell Rightby Susan DeckerBloombergJanuary 5th, 2014As scientists get closer to using embryonic stem cells in new treatments for blindness, spinal cord injuries and heart disease, a U.S. legal debate could determine who profits from that research.
Tania Simoncelli: Gene Patent Foeby Heidi LedfordNatureDecember 18th, 2013A US science policy expert, and former CGS staffer, is one of Nature’s People of the Year.
Utah’s Myriad Genetics Ramps up Gene Patenting Disputeby Tom HarveyThe Salt Lake TribuneDecember 9th, 2013Myriad Genetics is enveloped in a spate of lawsuits over its gene patents, this time sparring with companies that want to erode its dominant position in testing genes related to breast and ovarian cancer.
Company Patenting Tech for Designing Babies[With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by John FowlerKTVUNovember 20th, 2013Biotechnology may give parents unprecedented choices. Fertility clinics already use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to select traits for some in-vitro babies, but intentional manipulation might create ethical nightmares.
Designing Childrenby Jonathan WebberGenomics Law ReportNovember 12th, 2013Some degree of mastery over the genetic future of the human species seems to be a possibility. For whom and for what does this technology exist?
You Can't Predict Destiny by Designing Your Baby's Genomeby Megan Allyse and Marsha MichieThe Wall Street JournalNovember 8th, 2013New genetic and reproductive techniques will only reveal that human life is too multifaceted to be reduced to a mathematical formula.
NIH Seeks Comments on Plan to Share Genomic Databy Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 7th, 2013The National Institutes of Health is accepting public comments until November 20 on a draft Genomic Data Sharing Policy that promotes the wide-scale sharing of human and non-human genomic data.
Designer Babies: Fact or Fiction?[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Franki WebbIPPro Life SciencesOctober 31st, 2013To what extent is 23andMe’s “designer babies” patent scientifically and morally dubious? IPPro speaks to experts about the controversial subject.
Judge Invalidates Patent for a Down Syndrome Testby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesOctober 31st, 2013A federal judge has invalidated the central patent underlying a noninvasive method of detecting Down syndrome in fetuses without the risk of inducing a miscarriage.
Inside 23andMe Founder Anne Wojcicki's $99 DNA Revolutionby Elizabeth MurphyFast CompanyOctober 14th, 2013Genetic data on a massive scale is likely to be an extremely valuable commodity to pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and even governments. That's why 23andMe needs spit.
23andMe's Designer Baby Patentby Dov FoxHuffington PostOctober 4th, 2013Even if 23andMe doesn't bring its donor selection technique to market, a patent award sends the message that this is an invention whose development should be protected and promoted.
Center for Genetics and Society Calls on 23andMe to Disavow “Designer Babies”: Controversial New Patent Raises Critical Questions [Press statement]October 2nd, 201323andMe's new patent is an irresponsible step that amounts to shopping for designer donors in an effort to produce designer babies.
Your Body, Their Propertyby Osagie K. ObasogieBoston ReviewSeptember 30th, 2013When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down human gene patents it took one aspect of the debate over property interests in human biological materials off the table. But other body parts are still considered fair game.
Amici Submit Brief in Support of Ambry Genetics and Gene by Geneby Donald ZuhnPatent DocsAugust 27th, 2013The American Civil Liberties Union, Breast Cancer Action, and several others submitted an amici curiae brief in two infringement actions brought by Myriad Genetics.
Corporate Geneticsby Robert NussbaumTechnology ReviewAugust 21st, 2013In June the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that patents on genes were invalid. Yet corporate intellectual-property claims can still harm patients.
Why Is Myriad Genetics Still Filing Patent Suits for Breast-Cancer Tests?by Brian ResnickNational JournalAugust 8th, 2013Why did Myriad Genetics sue a competitor for testing for the very gene recently declared unpatentable by the Supreme Court?
DTC Monopoly and Meby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 6th, 2013A recent study shows yet again that results from different direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies vary. So what will the emerging monopoly of 23andMe mean for accuracy?
You Can’t Patent Human Genes. So Why are Genetic Testing Companies Getting Sued?by Timothy B. LeeThe Washington PostJuly 12th, 2013Myriad says that even after its Supreme Court setback, it still has patents covering its competitors’ products.
2 Competitors Sued by Genetics Company for Patent Infringementby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesJuly 10th, 2013Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling last month that human genes cannot be patented, Myriad Genetics is suing competitors that have begun to offer genetic testing for breast cancer risk.
From Suspects to the Spitterati: A collision of power, profit, and privacyby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJune 27th, 2013DNA collection is increasingly ubiquitous, and the push for access to genetic information is gaining momentum. What questions should we be considering?
More Reactions to the Supreme Court's Gene Patent Decisionby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJune 26th, 2013The unanimous Supreme Court decision that human genes may not be patented continues to provoke comment and speculation, some of it contradictory.
A New High-Tech, Grass-Roots Effort to Fight Breast Cancerby Apoorva MandavilliSlateJune 25th, 2013A volunteer effort is trying to "Free the Data" so that scientists everywhere can analyze Myriad's data and help women make informed choices about their breast-cancer risk.
Myriad Ruling Causes Confusionby Heidi LedfordNatureJune 18th, 2013The Supreme Court decision ended a long-running, emotionally charged legal challenge to gene patents, but the grey area between this ruling and the court’s second point — that patents can be claimed on modified DNA — has puzzled observers.
Inside the Stem Cell Shell Gameby Gina Maranto, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJune 18th, 2013Sociologist Ruha Benjamin examines the California stem cell initiative from a social justice perspective.
After Patent Ruling, Availability of Gene Tests Could Broadenby Andrew PollackThe New York TimesJune 13th, 2013Almost immediately after the Supreme Court ruled that human genes could not be patented, several laboratories announced they, too, would begin offering genetic testing for breast cancer risk.
Reactions to the Supreme Court Ruling Against Myriadby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesJune 13th, 2013The unanimous Supreme Court decision that human genes may not be patented was greeted with enthusiasm by the large coalition of plaintiffs and supporters, while the losers tried to put a brave face on it.
Supreme Court Rules Human Genes May Not Be Patentedby Adam LiptakThe New York TimesJune 13th, 2013Isolated human genes may not be patented, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday.
Infertility Due to Old Eggs? An Anti-Aging Pioneer Ponders Solutionsby Melissa HealyLos Angeles TimesJune 5th, 2013Scientists draw on advances across many fields to propose a way to rejuvenate aging human eggs using a woman's own ovarian stem cells.
Cancer Inc.by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMay 28th, 2013Angelina Jolie’s widely discussed op-ed about her preventative double mastectomy glosses over the impact of one company’s patent on the “breast cancer genes” as well as alternative choices that are available to women who have mastectomies.
Leading Scientist Attacks University Over 'Outrageous' IVF Treatment Patentby Robin McKieThe GuardianMay 25th, 2013The patent, which covers the duration of the first three cell cycles in a human embryo, encroaches on a naturally occurring phenomenon.
Angelina Jolie and the One Percentby Gayle SulikScientific AmericanMay 20th, 2013Jolie's revelation has sparked a flurry of useful discussion, but we should remember an important caveat about her situation: it doesn’t apply to most women.
Angelina Jolie and the Fate of Breast Cancer Genes[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Alexandra Le TellierLos Angeles TimesMay 14th, 2013Angelina Jolie described her double mastectomy as a way to gain control over mutations in her "breast cancer genes," but how much control we have over BRCA1 and BRCA2, and human genes in general, is yet to be determined.
Patenting Parthenotes: High Court Asks if Parthenotes are 'Human Embryos' Under the Biotech Directiveby Antony Blackburn-StarzaBioNewsApril 29th, 2013The UK's High Court has asked the Court of Justice of the European Union to clarify if human parthenotes fall under the definition of a human embryo for the purposes of patentability.
In Australia, Gene Patents Also Subject of High Court Struggleby Leigh DaytonScienceApril 19th, 2013Australia's Full Federal Court has begun proceedings in an appeal of an earlier decision that upheld the validity of breast cancer diagnostic tests developed by Myriad Genetics.
Supreme Court Hears Gene Patent Case; Activists Rally on Courthouse Stepsby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesApril 18th, 2013The justices heard arguments in the Myriad gene patent case, and seemed critical of the patents but perhaps unwilling to make a broad ruling.
Can Human Genes Be Patented?by Eliot MarshallScienceApril 17th, 2013The question has been debated for years but not addressed directly by the U.S. Supreme Court—until this week. The decision, expected later this year and from which there is no appeal, could have an impact on hundreds of companies and thousands of researchers.
Panel Discusses the Legality of Patenting Human Genes [VIDEO][With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky] China Central TelevisionApril 16th, 2013Discussion of the Supreme Court hearing on human gene patents with intellectual property attorney Geoffrey Karny and CGS's Marcy Darnovsky, hosted by Mike Walter.
Supreme Court Critical of Patents on Human Genesby David G. SavageLos Angeles TimesApril 15th, 2013The justices were highly skeptical of the idea that a company or a scientist can hold a patent on human genes and prevent others from testing or using them.
Who should own DNA? All of us[Op-Ed]by Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna JaggarLos Angeles TimesApril 12th, 2013You can't patent the sun; why should you be able to patent human genes?
Can We Patent Life?by Michael SpecterThe New YorkerApril 2nd, 2013Jonas Salk would not be amused, but if the Supreme Court buys Myriad’s argument, the sun, along with the carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen contained within it, will indeed be up for grabs, and so will every gene in our bodies.
Not every woman should get the BRCA gene test, U.S. task force saysby Eryn BrownLos Angeles TimesApril 1st, 2013Unless she has a family history that makes it likely she has the harmful mutations, a woman will be unlikely to benefit from testing BRCA-related.
You Don't "Own" Your Own Genes[Press release]Weill Cornell Medical CollegeMarch 25th, 2013Through more than 40,000 patents on DNA molecules, companies have essentially claimed the entire human genome for profit.
A Rally Against Human Gene Patents on the Supreme Court’s Stepsby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesMarch 19th, 2013Breast Cancer Action argues that when “a corporation controls human genes, corporate profits will always come before our health.”
BRCA1 gene patent ruling to be appealedby Amy CorderoyThe Age [Australia]March 4th, 2013The decision in Australia that private companies can control human genes will be appealed in the Federal Court.
What Is a Gene And How Does it Apply to the Law? The Supreme Court Still Doesn't Know.by Brian ResnickNational JournalMarch 2nd, 2013DNA was discovered 60 years ago this week, and since then it's been muddling up the legal system.
Eric Lander Weighs in on Gene Patenting Caseby Carolyn Y. JohnsonThe Boston GlobeFebruary 26th, 2013A leading geneticist has filed an amicus brief arguing that Myriad has patented products of nature, which are ineligible for such protection.
Can They Patent Your Genes?by Daniel J. KevlesThe New York Review of BooksFebruary 25th, 2013This spring, the Supreme Court will hear a case that may well decide whether genes can be patented, and the consequences for American biomedicine could be huge.
Monsanto, the Court and the Seeds of Dissent[Op-Ed]by George Kimbrell and Debbie BarkerLos Angeles TimesFebruary 19th, 2013Should Monsanto, or any corporation, have rights to a self-replicating natural product? On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will decide.
Cancer Group Loses Federal Court Bid Against Human Gene Patentby Rick MortonThe AustralianFebruary 15th, 2013A cancer group fighting against the patenting of a human gene linked to breast and ovarian cancer has lost its landmark case in an Australian court.
Moore is LessWhy the Development of Pluripotent Stem Cells Might Lead Us to Rethink Differential Property Interests in Excised Human Cellsby Osagie K. Obasogie and Helen TheungStanford Technology Law ReviewJanuary 15th, 2013A proposal for addressing the profound legal issues raised by induced pluripotent stem cells.
UK Government's Enthusiasm for GM Not Matched in Developing Nationsby John VidalThe Guardian January 4th, 2013Across the world, countries are turning their backs on GM crops; perhaps the coalition in the UK could learn something from them.
Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: The Dollars are in the Database by Emily StehrBiopolitical TimesDecember 18th, 201223andMe raised $50 million and plans to use it to lower the cost of its spit kit to $99. CEO Anne Wojcicki hopes this will lead to a very valuable database of one million users' genetic information.
German Brüstle Decision Puts Spotlight on National Patent Guidelines by Julian HitchcockBioNewsDecember 17th, 2012The German Federal High Court fully exploited a narrow sliver of discretion granted it by an EU ruling in order to allow a patent on Oliver Brüstle's precursor cells.
DeliriousMe: Ownership and Identity in An Age of Genomic Medicineby Patricia WilliamsLOG: Journal of Architecture and UrbanismDecember 17th, 2012The question of who owns our bodies — in particular the genomic information that may be culled from routine human shedding — is a matter of evolving legal, social and ethical importance.
Genes, Patents, and Big Business: at 23andMe, are you the Customer or the Product?Ethical questions swirl as the personal genetics company starts scaling upby Adrianne JeffriesThe VergeDecember 12th, 201223andMe has raised $50 million from investors and decisively shifted its focus to building and monetizing a giant database of genetic information, rather than satisfying personal curiosity.
The Definitive Book on the Strange History of BiDilby Osagie ObasogieBiopolitical TimesDecember 6th, 2012Jonathan Kahn's new Race In A Bottle is an extraordinary account of the birth, life, and death(?) of the first drug to receive FDA approval for a specific racial group.
U.S. Supreme Court to Decide if Human Genes Patentableby Jonathan StempelReutersNovember 30th, 2012The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether human genes can be patented.
Myriad Updates: Clinical Data as Trade Secrets and a Pending Certiorari Decisionby Dan VorhausGenomics Law ReportNovember 28th, 2012An update on the long-running litigation of Myriad Genetics.
E.U. Patents on Transgenic Chimps Challengedby Kai KupferschmidtScience InsiderNovember 13th, 2012Animal rights activists in Germany are contesting three patents on genetically engineered chimpanzees granted this year by the European Patent Office.
European Society of Human Genetics Reprimands Myriad Geneticsby Emily StehrBiopolitical TimesNovember 7th, 2012Myriad Genetics claims its research data is a trade secret as it pushes for a stronger presence in the European genetic testing market. Experts' responses reflect the ideological divide in the ongoing challenge to Myriad's BRCA gene patents.
Genetic Profiteering: Scandal of Firm 'Hiding Vital Breast Cancer Data' by Steve ConnorThe IndependentNovember 1st, 2012Myriad Genetics is accused of deliberately withholding data that could help other scientists to understand cancer genetics, on the grounds that the information is commercially sensitive.
Patents for Genetically Engineered Chimps 'Perverse'by Daniel MasonPublic Service EuropeOctober 22nd, 2012A coalition of European public interest groups brands three patents for genetically engineered chimpanzees "perverse."
ACLU Asks Supreme Court to Rule on Gene Patentsby Emily StehrBiopolitical TimesOctober 3rd, 2012The ACLU has petitioned the Supreme Court for review of a Federal Circuit decision upholding patent eligibility of isolated DNA sequences.
Human Genes - Sold to the Highest Bidder?Federal Appeals Court Ruled that Myriad Can in Fact Patent Isolated Human Genes by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesAugust 23rd, 2012A U.S. federal appeals court has reaffirmed that gene patents are legal in its ruling last week that Myriad Genetics can keep its patent on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
Q & A on Myriad Decision: DNA Patent Upheld, Process Patent Notby Eryn BrownLos Angeles TimesAugust 17th, 2012Can a company patent a gene? According to a new appeals court ruling, yes — even when that gene is an isolated version of a gene that occurs in nature.
Patients Seek Stem-Cell Compensationby David CyranoskiNature NewsJuly 6th, 2012Six patients in California are suing RNL Bio, one of the world’s largest stem-cell companies, for allegedly misleading them about the effectiveness of its stem-cell treatments.
How to Tell When A Drug Company Fibs About Clinical Trial Resultsby Adam FeuersteinThe StreetJuly 3rd, 2012Osiris Therapeutics "disappeared" important data when it announced results of a study of a stem cell therapy in heart attack patients.
Pride: In Your Genes? by Daniel SharpBiopolitical TimesJune 28th, 2012A new "gay gene" study and a strange float at the Pride Parade present a context to reflect on genetic determinism and the meaning of pride.
Informed Consent: A Broken Contractby Erika Check HaydenNature NewsJune 20th, 2012As large-scale genetic research has become faster and cheaper, more and more personal genetic data collected for one purpose ends up being used for another.
Gene Patent Case Ramps Upby Amy MaxmenNature News BlogJune 15th, 2012The ACLU has filed additional documents in its lawsuit challenging patents on DNA in preparation for a hearing next month by a federal appeals court.
How Our Genetic Maps Are Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Patricia J. WilliamsThe Nation June 6th, 201223andMe's first patent forces the question, who owns our bodies?
Patenting and Personal Genomics: 23andMe Receives its First Patent, and Plenty of Questionsby Dan VorhausGenomics Law ReportJune 1st, 2012The announcement appeared to catch more than a few of the company’s customers by surprise, sparking concern about the company’s intentions.
Personal-Genetics Company Patent Raises Hacklesby Monya BakerNature News BlogMay 31st, 2012The personal genetics company 23andMe announced its first patent filing yesterday. Clients expressed their concern and dismay on the company's website.
Rewritable Memory Encoded into DNAby Erika Check HaydenNatureMay 21st, 2012Researchers in California have successfully encoded a type of rewritable memory into bacterial DNA. However, it took three years and over 750 attempts to do so, demonstrating the difficulty of coding apparently simple processes into DNA.
Appeals Court to Hear Gene-Patenting Case in Julyby Maggie FoxNational JournalApril 30th, 2012The next round of hearings for the Myriad gene patents case has been set for July 20th.
Prometheus: Bound. Myriad: Condemned?by Doug Pet and Daniel SharpBiopolitical TimesMarch 26th, 2012The Supreme Court has asked a lower court to reconsider its ruling in the Myriad Genetics gene patent case, in light of the High Court’s recent decision to invalidate Prometheus Laboratories’ patents.
UPDATE: US High Court Orders New Look At Myriad Gene Patentsby Brent KendallWall Street JournalMarch 26th, 2012The Supreme Court declines to hear the Myriad gene patent case, and orders a lower court to review its decision in favor of Myriad.
Could SCOTUS Prometheus ruling be the end of human gene patents?by Terry BaynesThomason Reuters News & InsightsMarch 21st, 2012Advocates see the recent Supreme Court decision in the Prometheus case as a good omen for other cases challenging gene patents.
Collecting Stories about the Harms of Gene Patenting by Marcy DarnovskyFebruary 23rd, 2012The ACLU launches a public campaign education campaign about the consequences of gene patenting.
Patient Advocates Test Law on Human Gene Patents by Louise HallThe Sydney Morning HeraldFebruary 21st, 2012A patient advocacy group has taken Myriad Genetics and its exclusive Australian licensee Genetic Technologies to court over a patent related to a human gene linked to breast and ovarian cancers.
Myriad Cert Petition Now Fully Briefed; Supreme Court May Decide by Feb. 20[Mentions Center for Genetics and Society]by Tony DutraBloomberg BNAFebruary 2nd, 2012The lawsuit challenging the Myriad gene patents awaits a Supreme Court decision about whether it will accept the case for review.
Corporate Target of Gene Patent Lawsuit Acquires Another Geneby Emily BeitiksBiopolitical TimesJanuary 26th, 2012While waiting for the Supreme Court to decide whether to pick up the lawsuit challenging Myriad Genetics’ patents, the company has acquired a patent on an additional “breast cancer gene.”
Myriad Genetics Acquires Patent on Another Breast Cancer-Linked Geneby Ayesha AhmadBioNewsJanuary 23rd, 2012Myriad's new acquisition comes as the US Supreme Court is deciding whether to hear a lawsuit challenging its existing patents on genes linked to breast cancer.
Can a Company Own Your Genes?by Azeen GhorayshiMother JonesDecember 15th, 2011Last Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union petitioned the Supreme Court to rule on whether Myriad Genetics' patenting of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes is a sound legal practice.
Gene Patent Stoush Heads to US Courtby Karen BarlowABC News [Australia]December 8th, 2011The fight over human genes and whether they can be patented for medical research has gone to the US Supreme Court.
Biotech Industry Spent $2M on Lobbying in 3Qby Associated PressBoston GlobeNovember 28th, 2011The Biotechnology Industry Organization spent almost $2 million in the third quarter as it lobbied Congress, the White House, and more than a dozen federal agencies on funding and patent laws.
Life, MonetizedDeadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself — And the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future, by Harriet A. Washingtonby Osagie K. ObasagieThe American ProspectNovember 17th, 2011Harriet Washington's new book examines the ways in which the “medical-industrial complex” benefits research industries at the expense of both consumers and human research subjects.
Geron Quits the Embryonic Stem Cell Industryby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesNovember 16th, 2011Geron has cancelled its clinical trial of a stem-cell treatment for spinal cord injuries, raising questions about the future of the company and the industry.
UK Supreme Court Upholds Gene Patentby Martin TurnerBioNewsNovember 14th, 2011In what appears to be the end of a long-running legal saga, the UK's Supreme Court found in favor of a patent for a gene and the protein sequence it encodes.
Oregon Health & Science University wins breakthrough stem-cell patent; ethics of cloning debatedby Nick BudnickThe OregonianNovember 2nd, 2011Over the long-term, observers say, it could lead to the genetic engineering of human beings. But OHSU's announcement yesterday focused on short-term health gains.
When Breast Cancer Tests Get It Wrongby Elizabeth CohenCNNOctober 27th, 2011Doctors and patients complain that Myriad labs is charging patients twice for a lifesaving breast cancer genetics test.
European Court of Justice: No Patents on Human Embryonic Stem Cells by Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesOctober 27th, 2011Greenpeace applauds the decision for limiting commercialization of the human body; a stem cell patent holder warns of disaster; a patent lawyer says the ruling may in fact encourage research.
'Deadly Monopolies'? Patenting The Human Bodyby Fresh AirNPROctober 24th, 2011In her new book Deadly Monopolies, Harriet Washington details how our tissues and genes are increasingly being patented by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
Myriad’s Molecular Monopoly to Face the Nineby Doug PetBiopolitical TimesOctober 20th, 2011The American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation will petition the Supreme Court to rule on the legality of Myriad Genetics’ patents on cancer-related genes.
EU court: No patents for some stem cell techniquesby Maria ChengBloomberg BusinessweekOctober 18th, 2011The European Union's top court ruled Tuesday that scientists cannot patent stem cell techniques that use human embryos.
ACLU, PUBPAT Seek to Challenge Patentability of Isolated Genes Before Supreme Courtby Turna RayGenomeWebOctober 12th, 2011The American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation have decided to ask the Supreme Court to take up their case challenging Myriad Genetics' patents on BRCA 1 & 2 genes.
New Patent Law Could Change How Academics Commercialize Discoveriesby David MalakoffScienceSeptember 9th, 2011The U.S. Senate voted 89-9 to approve the American Invents Act (H.R. 1249), ending a 6-year battle over how best to reform a patent system beset by increasing delays and costly litigation.
Despite Gene Patent Victory, Myriad Genetics Faces Challengesby Andrew PollackNew York TimesAugust 24th, 2011Myriad Genetics' genetic test for breast cancer is technologically outmoded, incomplete and too costly.
NHS ignores gene patents, experts sayby Clive CooksonFinancial TimesAugust 5th, 2011Genetic testing laboratories in the National Health Service are deliberately ignoring most patents on DNA.
Race and bio-patents don't mixby Doug PetBiopolitical TimesAugust 3rd, 2011The Washington Post ran a piece drawing heavily on Jonathan Kahn's recent work, which examines how US patent procedure is forcing race into genetic and medical research.
The Myriad Breast Cancer Patent Case Continuesby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesAugust 1st, 2011A federal appeals court mostly overturned the lower court ruling that invalidated Myriad's patents on breast cancer genes, but further appeals are expected.
Race reemerges in debate over ‘personalized medicine’by Rob SteinWashington PostJuly 31st, 2011Federal examiners have rejected patents for genetic screening tests because the applicants did not explore their effectiveness for different races, adding to the debate about whether race has scientific validity in modern DNA-based medicine.
Ruling Upholds Gene Patent in Cancer Testby Andrew PollackNew York TimesJuly 29th, 2011The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which specializes in patent cases, said that Myriad Genetics was entitled to patents on two human genes used to predict if women have an increased risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer.
Betting That Biotech Will Bring the FDA to Heel? Don’t Count On Itby Luke TimmermanXconomyJune 30th, 2011Word is that BIO has been working behind the scenes on a series of pro-industry legislative proposals that take aim at the Food and Drug Administration, the agency with the power to make or break companies developing innovative new medical products.
A Near-Miss on Gene Patents in Congressby Doug PetBiopolitical TimesJune 23rd, 2011A House bill seeking to work around the harms of gene patents may inadvertently threaten ongoing efforts toward a ban, many advocacy and medical groups worry.
Is the Patent Office Forcing Race into Biotechnology Patents?by Jonathan Kahn, Biopolitical Times guest contributorJune 14th, 2011As we claim to be making progress toward a promised land of personalized medicine, group categories of race seem to be gaining salience in both law and science.
Doctor Abandons US Patent Application[Solomon Islands]Solomon Times April 11th, 2011The Network of the Indigenous Peoples-Solomons welcomes the abandonment of a US patent application that uses genetic samples from Solomon Islanders, in a case that raises major ethical questions.
Breast Cancer Gene Case Has Another Day in Court by Eric Hoffman and Jaydee Hanson, Biopolitical Times guest contributorsApril 7th, 2011A US appeals court hears arguments in a high-profile case challenging human gene patents.
More Arguing About Human Gene Patents in Courtby Doug PetBiopolitical TimesApril 7th, 2011A Federal Court of Appeals panel heard oral arguments in the Myriad case, but gave no hint of its decision; either way, many expect it to go to the Supreme Court.
Myriad gene patent appeal draws crowd, stirs judges by Matt CanhamThe Salt Lake TribuneApril 5th, 2011The panel of judges for the Federal Circuit questioned attorneys before a few hundred spectators, which is an unusually long time for oral arguments and an unusually large crowd.
The Corrupting Influence of the Business of Biotechby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesNovember 23rd, 2010Many scientists seem oblivious of the potential that industry funding offers for conflicts of interest.
New ETC Report on Synthetic Biology & the Global Biomass Grabby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesNovember 3rd, 2010"The New Biomassters" considers the wider implications of the proposed new bioeconomy, which will exploit the people of the global South.
Gene Patent Ruling Raises Questions for Industryby Andrew PollackNew York TimesNovember 1st, 2010Sharp reaction greeted the declaration that human and other genes are not patentable.
Reactions to US Government "Bombshell" against Gene Patents by Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesNovember 1st, 2010The Department of Justice now says that genes are products of nature, not human-made inventions, and therefore cannot be patented.
U.S. Says Genes Should Not Be Eligible for Patentsby Andrew PollackNew York Times October 29th, 2010The government suggested such a change would have limited impact on the biotechnology industry because man-made manipulations of DNA could still be patented.
Who owns your genes? In many cases, not you by Ginny GravesMSNBCMany companies hold patents on patient's genes, affecting testing, cancer research.
NIH Ethics Advisory Committee Disbandedby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesSeptember 30th, 2010The abrupt cancellation of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society is a disquieting development.
Surrendering a Gene Patent: An International Twist in Myriad Debate by Dan Vorhaus and John ConleyGenomics Law ReportSeptember 29th, 2010In the U.S., Myriad continues to press its patent claims in court; but in Australia, the company has offered to "surrender ownership of its Australian breast cancer patent" to "the people of Australia." However, much about this remains unclear.
Of geese and genesby Jillian TheilBiopolitical TimesSeptember 2nd, 2010The Financial Times publishes an argument for a "pre-competitive commons."
Patent Happeningsby Jillian TheilBiopolitical TimesJuly 7th, 2010The pace of news on legal challenges to patents on human genes is quickening.
AMA meeting: Patents should not be issued for human genesby Victoria Stagg Elliottamednews.comJune 28th, 2010The American Medical Association opposes the patenting of human genes and related naturally occurring mutations.
Human Genome Project leader warns against attempts to patent genesby Alok JhaThe Guardian (UK)June 24th, 2010John Sulston, who led the UK branch of the Human Genome Project, says patents on human genes would restrict access to treatments and inhibit research.
The case for and against the patenting of genesby Faye FlamPhiladelphia EnquirerJune 21st, 2010In 1998, Penn geneticists Arupa Ganguly and Haig Kazazian were ordered to stop offering women a test for genetic mutations that carry a dire risk of breast cancer.
Cancer gene patent faces legal challenge [Australia]AAPJune 8th, 2010Landmark legal action was launched against the owners of the patent over the genes associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Environmentalists Try to Ban Release of Synthetic Life Forms into The Wild [UK]by Steve ConnorThe IndependentMay 24th, 2010Environmentalists last week sought to use the UN Convention on Biological Diversity to push for moratorium on release of synthetic life forms into the wild.
Stem cells, human genes, and patentsby Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesMay 14th, 2010A recent ruling on a stem cell patent is similar with concurrent challenges to patents on human genes related to breast cancer.
PTO Finds Stem Cell Patent Anticipated, Obvious in Light of 'Significant Guideposts'[Quotes CGS's Jesse Reynolds]by Tony Dutra and Joyce CutlerThe Bureau of National AffairsMay 12th, 2010The Patent and Trademark Office appeals board found that a patent on human embryonic stem cells was invalid as obvious at the time of invention.
Upholding of WARF stem cell patent reversedThe Business Journal of MilwaukeeMay 3rd, 2010The US Patent and Trademark Office agreed with public interest critics and will likely end a major human stem cell patent.
Mixed Messages on Gene Patentingby Anna SallehABC (Australia)April 23rd, 2010The recent landmark US court ruling against gene patents has reignited debate on the issue in Australia just weeks before the expected release of a senate report.
How Gene Patents Harm Innovation[Commentary]by Matthew HerperForbesApril 9th, 2010Far from hurting biotech innovation, eliminating pure gene patents will greatly speed innovation in the biotech sector.
Genes belong to humanity[Editorial; Quotes CGS's Jesse Reynolds]Charlottesville Daily ProgressApril 6th, 2010Claiming exclusive domain over human genes is a troubling precedent. Genes come from our bodies and thus should belong to all of us
Gene Patents on CBS's "60 Minutes"by Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesApril 2nd, 2010This Sunday, the long-running American television news show will air a segment on the debate over human gene patents.
Gene-patenting issue not settled despite ruling[Quotes CGS's Jesse Reynolds]by Deborah L. SheltonChicago TribuneApril 1st, 2010A judge threw out patents on genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer, siding with scientists and health advocates who argue that a company cannot patent a product of nature.
Court Rules Isolated and Purified Breast Cancer Genes Unpatentable Under §101[Quotes CGS's Jesse Reynolds and Marcy Darnovsky]by Tony DutraThe Bureau of National AffairsMarch 31st, 2010Isolated and purified DNA lacking “markedly different characteristics” from native DNA is not patentable, a US court ruled.
It Ain't 'Brave New World' Yet: Federal Court Strikes Down Human Gene Patents[Quotes CGS's Jesse Reynolds]by Peter JamisonSan Francisco WeeklyMarch 31st, 2010​The Center for Genetics and Society is trumpeting a ruling from a New York-based federal court that squashed a biotech company's efforts to patent human genes.
Historic Gene Patent Ruling Provokes Cheers and Jeersby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesMarch 31st, 2010A landmark court ruling that human genes cannot be patented provokes both praise and criticism.
Public Interest Group Praises Court Decision that Human Genes Cannot Be PatentedCenter for Genetics and Society Calls Ruling a Victory for Patients, Consumers and Responsible ResearchMarch 30th, 2010CGS welcomed yesterday's District Court decision invalidating patents on genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer, which ruled that human genes cannot be patented because they are products of nature
Judge Invalidates Human Gene Patent[Quotes CGS's Jesse Reynolds]by Marilynn MarchioneThe Associated PressMarch 29th, 2010In a ruling with potentially far-reaching implications for the patenting of human genes, a judge on Monday struck down a company's patents on two genes linked to an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Myriad breast cancer patent very broad, study findsby Maggie FoxReutersMarch 22nd, 2010Researchers say patent covers parts of most human genes
Myriad speaks out of both sides of its mouthby Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesMarch 8th, 2010In defending its patents on human genes, Myriad Genetics says that a ruling against it would mean everything, and mean nothing.
Immortal Cells and Persistent Controversiesby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesFebruary 24th, 2010The riveting stories in a new best-seller are relevant to the biopolitical controversies we face today.
Gene Patent Challenge Gets Support in the Pressby Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesFebruary 14th, 2010The lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of human gene patents received its first hearing, but the real developments occurred in the media.
Medical groups assail patenting of human genesby Elizabeth WeiseUSA TodayFebruary 3rd, 2010Groups representing thousands of doctors, scientists and patients argued in court that no one should be able to patent human genes.
IP lawyers defend IPby Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesNovember 17th, 2009On human gene patents, intellectual property lawyers in Australia take a firm stance--apparently a stronger position than that of the biotech industry.
Lawsuit against gene patents can proceed: judgeby Edith HonanReutersNovember 2nd, 2009A lawsuit challenging patents on two human genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer can move forward, a U.S. federal judge ruled.
Battle Over Human Gene Patents Buildsby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesOctober 28th, 2009A key government committee, a progressive news show, and a federal judge are all reconsidering human gene patents.
Stakes rise in gene-patenting lawsuitby Tom HarveyThe Salt Lake City TribuneSeptember 29th, 2009A hearing is set to begin today in federal court in a lawsuit that poses a major challenge to the practice of granting patents on human genes.
CGS and other groups file brief in support of challenge to gene patentsby Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesSeptember 1st, 2009A number of social justice and women’s health organizations have filed a "friend of the court" brief in support of the ACLU / Public Patent Foundation lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of human gene patents.
Public interest groups support groundbreaking challenge to human gene patentsCenter for Genetics and Society, Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research, other organizations file brief backing lawsuitSeptember 1st, 2009Public interest, social justice, and women’s health advocates filed a "friend of the court" brief in support of a groundbreaking lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union and Public Patent Foundation challenging the constitutionality of human gene patents.
ACLU Files Summary Judgment Motion Challenging Patents on Gene Sequencingby Tony DutraThe Bureau of National AffairsAugust 28th, 2009The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation and the Public Patent Foundation filed a motion for summary judgment challenging the legality and constitutionality of patent claims directed to isolating and analyzing human gene sequences.
Gene Patent Lawsuit Draws Commentsby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesAugust 19th, 2009The legal challenge to gene patents is the impetus for a new article by CGS staffers Jesse Reynolds and Marcy Darnovsky.
The Battle to Patent Your Genes The Meaning of the Myriad Caseby Marcy Darnovsky and Jesse ReynoldsThe American Interest (September - October 2009)A legal showdown looms over the patenting of human genes.
Senate push to ban gene patents [Australia]by Adam CresswellThe AustralianAugust 1st, 2009A bid to halt the patenting of human genes will be launched before an Australian Senate committee next week.
The Gene Hunt: Should Finders Be Keepers?[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Lynne PeeplesScientific AmericanJuly 31st, 2009A lawsuit filed against Myriad Genetics questions the ethics of gene patents.
Academic urges ban on patenting of human genesby Danielle CroninCanberra TimesJuly 24th, 2009An Australian academic has called for a ban on gene patents, warning these can stifle research that may produce cures for deadly diseases.
University, Myriad seek dismissal of gene patent suitby Tom HarveySalt Lake City TribuneJuly 22nd, 2009The University of Utah and Myriad Genetics have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit from gene research groups and others who are seeking to overturn the practice of granting patents on human genes.
Interview with "Body Shopping" authorby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesJune 26th, 2009RH Reality Check interviews British author and activist Donna Dickenson.
Patenting human genes thwarts research, scientists sayby Robert S. BoydMcClatchy NewspapersJune 3rd, 2009Rapid advances in biology and genetics are raising fresh concerns about the spreading practice of patenting human genes.
The fight for our genes heads to court[Editorial; Cites CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]San Francisco ChronicleMay 23rd, 2009Human gene patents are crippling scientists and restricting patients
ACLU Lawsuit Says Gene Patents are Unconstitutionalby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesMay 13th, 2009A legal challenge that could change the shape of the biotechnology industry.
Statement of support for legal challenge against patents on breast cancer genesMay 12th, 2009CGS applauds the efforts of the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation to challenge the patents that have been granted on breast cancer genes.
Cancer Patients Challenge the Patenting of a Geneby John SchwartzNew York TimesMay 12th, 2009Cancer patients, researchers, and public interest groups are challenging the decision to grant a patent on a gene related to breast cancer.
Pig Patents Provoke Protests in Germanyby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesApril 24th, 2009A street protest outside the European Patent Office in Munich highlights concerns about the patenting of animals.
Pitt researcher again pursues cloning patentby Walter F. Roche Jr.Pittshburgh Tribune-ReviewApril 4th, 2009A Pittsburgh stem cell researcher has renewed his efforts to win a patent on cloning human embryos, despite lingering questions from his past efforts.
23andMe Gets Into the Breast Cancer Testing Businessby Osagie K. ObasogieBiopolitical TimesFebruary 23rd, 2009Google-backed 23andMe, a leader in the recreational genetics sector, has added a new service: telling its customers whether they have a genetic variant that may significantly increase their chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
Africans’ DNA could be abusedby Bobby JordanThe Times (South Africa)February 14th, 2009South African researchers and traditional leaders fear US scientists will soon start patenting the genes of local ethnic groups, many of whom have donated blood samples as part of a worldwide genome-mapping project.
Hwang to Back His Own Inventionsby Kim Tong-hyungThe Korea TimesJanuary 12th, 2009Getting a shot at redemption, Hwang's colleague at the Sooam Biotech Research Center confirmed that Seoul National University had handed over the intellectual property rights for Hwang's claimed inventions in human stem cell research to H-Bion.
SNU drops bid for stem cell patentby Ser Myo-jaJoongAng DailyDecember 31st, 2008Seoul National University has decided to end efforts to obtain overseas patents for stem cell technology of disgraced scientist Hwang Woo-suk
European agency rules against stem cell patentsby Michael KahnReutersNovember 27th, 2008European regulators ruled against allowing a patent on developing human embryonic stem cells.
House Panel Discusses International Limits On Gene Study to Prevent Competitive Abuse[Quotes CGS's Richard Hayes]The Bureau of National AffairsJune 21st, 2008An international consensus on this research and its application must be achieved, panelists told a House subcommittee on terrorism.
Letting Sleeping Dogs Lieby Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesJune 12th, 2008The leadership of the California stem cell research agency has commissioned a new economic report. Any realistic economic analysis may not be an effective shield in Sacramento during a period of drastic budget cuts, and by reviving past controversy, revisiting the economic argument may backfire.
Dog Cloning and Intellectual Propertyby Marcy Darnovsky and Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesJune 5th, 2008In the minor flurry of stories last month about an on-line auction of dog cloning services, the issue of intellectual property was completely overlooked. That’s too bad, since the cloning business, like so many others, is best understood by following the money.
Unseen Rise of ‘Body Shopping’by Donna DickensonThe Sunday TimesApril 20th, 2008Good science can’t be rushed, and the commercialisation of biotechnology needs proper examination. The problem is that parliament is too busy arguing about God to pay much attention.
Another Bill to Reform the California Stem Cell Research Programby Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesMarch 4th, 2008For the fourth year in a row, the Democratic chair of the California Senate Health Committee, currently Sheila Kuehl, and her Republican colleague, George Runner, have introduced a bill to address some of the flaws in the California stem cell research program.
Elimination of conflicts of interest at stem cell institute target of billby Terri SomersSan Diego Union TribuneFebruary 23rd, 2008A bipartisan bill introduced in the state Senate yesterday would authorize California's Little Hoover Commission to investigate how the state stem cell institute's governance structure might be changed to eliminate inherent conflicts of interest.
Are male eggs and female sperm on the horizon?[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Peter AldhousNew ScientistFebruary 2nd, 2008In a handful of labs across the world, biologists are trying to make genetically male cells develop into eggs, and female cells into sperm.
Stem-cell Firms Resisting Cash LureInstitute Offers Grants with Strings Attachedby Steve JohnsonSan Jose Mercury NewsDecember 20th, 2007Although companies now have a chance for the first time in the institute's three-year history to apply for its money, they may wind up having to share some of their revenue and research. And that is giving some companies second thoughts about participating.
ICOC OKs For-Profit IP, Revenue Policies Amid Probes of Alleged Conflict of Interest[Quotes CGS's Jesse Reynolds]by Joyce E. CutlerThe Bureau of National AffairsDecember 14th, 2007California's stem cell agency approved regulations covering intellectual property and revenue sharing requirements for commercial enterprises accepting state stem cell research money.
WARF and Thomson Go for Patents with New Stem Cell Developmentsby Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesNovember 20th, 2007The leader of one of the two teams behind today's big stem cell developments plans on filing a patent on the technique.
Google Wants to Track Your Medical History -- And Your Genomeby Jesse ReynoldsAlterNetSeptember 20th, 2007Are you ready to entrust this deeply personal information to a company that recently received a failing grade in privacy?
A State Bill Passes, a Federal One Stallsby Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesSeptember 14th, 2007A California bill that would require the labeling of meat or dairy produced from cloned animals has passed the state Legislature. Meanwhile, a federal bill to permit generic biotechnology medicines has stalled again.
Don't Bite the Hand that Feeds Youby Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesAugust 3rd, 2007Given the magnitude of Keirstead's promotional activities, his undisclosed personal financial interest, and his own statement of clinical trials "in about a year" back in 2002, his pronouncements on the timeline for embryonic stem cell trials should receive a great deal of skepticism.
Scientist seeks patent to life formby Kelly PattersonCheckbiotechJune 12th, 2007A leading U.S. scientist has applied to patent the world's first man-made life form.
Gene Patent Billby Osagie K. ObasogieBiopolitical TimesMay 18th, 2007The Genomic Research and Accessibility Act - aiming to curb the gold rush on patenting human genes - is making its way through Congress.
Federal Bill to Ban Patents on Human Genes IntroducedGenetic CrossroadsApril 30th, 2007The "Genomic Research and Accessibility Act" would prohibit future patents on human genes, a practice that has given "private corporations, universities, and even the federal government…a monopoly on significant sections of the human genome."
UK's HFEA Lowers the Bar, Againby Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesApril 30th, 2007The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority - Britain's regulatory body for reproductive and genetic technologies - has just given the green light for IVF embryos to be screened for the "breast cancer genes." But besides this lowering of the bar in expanding PGD's use, this also highlights two roles played by government in promoting what some call a "new eugenics."
U.S. invalidates three human stem cell patentsby Karen KaplanLos Angeles TimesApril 4th, 2007The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has invalidated three broad patents for human embryonic stem cells that have been blamed for slowing research in the highly visible field of regenerative medicine.
CGS letter on California's SB771April 4th, 2007CGS supports, if amended, SB771. We are concerned that the bill as currently written does not go far enough to protect Californians from potentially unfair pricing practices.
Restrictive Stem Cell Patents Overturnedby Jesse ReynoldsBiopolitical TimesApril 4th, 2007The licensing arm of the University of Wisconsin has long been criticized for its patents in embryonic stem cell research. Earlier this week, a federal agency agreed with these sentiments, and invalidated its stem cell patents.
Genetic justice, industry styleby Marcy DarnovskyBiopolitical TimesMarch 19th, 2007The issues raised by the intertwining of law and human biotechnologies are often technically and socially complex. What's a busy jurist to do?
Neurolawby Osagie K. ObasogieBiopolitical TimesMarch 13th, 2007Should courts be in the business of deciding when to mitigate someone's criminal responsibility because his brain functions improperly, whether because of age, in-born defects or trauma?
Bill to End Human Gene Patents Introduced in HouseGenetic CrossroadsFebruary 28th, 2007Hoping to end patents on human genes and genetic material, Representatives Xavier Becerra (D-CA) and Dave Weldon (R-FL) have introduced HR 977, the Genomic Research and Accessibility Act.
Congressmen Introduce Bill to End Gene Patentsby Osagie K. ObasogieBiopolitical TimesFebruary 28th, 2007Patenting genes has become a burgeoning biotech business model.
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