Patenting of Genes

U.S. Says Genes Should Not Be Eligible for Patents

New York Times, October 29, 2010


Reversing a longstanding policy, the US federal government said that human and other genes should not be eligible for patents because they are part of nature. The new position could have a huge impact on medicine and on the biotechnology industry.

It is likely to draw protests from some biotechnology companies that say such patents are vital to the development of diagnostic tests, drugs and the emerging field of personalized medicine, in which drugs are tailored for individual patients based on their genes.