Sunday, February 13, 2005

Patenting Nature



This is how it used to go: you could patent a discovery as long as it isn't a creation of nature. For example, if you discovered a new species of dung beetle in Africa, you couldn't patent it. If you discovered a new scientific technique, on the other hand, then you could protect the method as intellectual property. In came genomics and large corporate conglomerates began patenting human genes. To this day, this makes no sense to me. These companies will, for a very long time, own the rights over our genes. Aren't we creations of nature? I suppose we're not as good as the dung beetle, but still. There is hope: Amazingly, the same open source methods that have revolutionized Linux are now moving into the world of biotechnology. Read all about it.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that someone should just patent calculus. Under current laws, the d(x^n)/dx= n*x^(n-1) processes as well as the chain and product rules would be patentable. Damn Prior art. I could be rich extracting fees from freshman.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

You might be on to something. I mean, it worked for Newton after all...

1:48 AM  

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