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Gene Patenting

bullet DNA Patent Database  - Established and maintained at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. This database serves as a resource for members of the public interested in genomics, genetics and biotechnology. The Database contains a collection of DNA-based patents and patent applications issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and makes the full-text versions of such patents available at no cost to the public. This searchable database allows researchers to track data or trends of patents and patent applications in categories such as the date of issue, the inventor or the receipt of government funding. The site links to a bibliography on science and politics of  the human genome and to best practices with respect to patents.

bullet Gene Patent Guidelines (2001) - This summary links to the 2001 guidelines issued by the USPTO making it clear that companies may patent whole genes as well as pieces of genes, though genetic sequences (ESTs) are not patentable. 

bullet The Ethics of Gene Patenting  - Site is a bibliography of  empirical work on the effects of patents claiming genetic diagnostic tests on the practice of medicine. The work is primarily that of Drs. Merz and Cho and their colleagues done under NIH/NHGRI/ELSI funding for a large interview-based case study examining the effects on clinical medicine and research of patented genes.

bullet Nuffield Council on Bioethics Discussion Paper:  The Ethics of Patenting DNA. (2002) - This paper argues that patents involving DNA sequences should be the exception rather than the rule. It  recommends  changes to the way that patents are granted involving DNA sequences and that the tests of inventiveness and usefulness should be more rigorously applied when considering whether  a patent should be granted
The Genetic Age: Who Owns the Genome – A 2002 webcast  sponsored by Affymetrix examining the issue of patenting naturally occurring gene sequences. Discusses whether patents are necessary to attract capital and whether patenting inhibits science.

bullet John Marshall Law School  - 2002 review paper, Who Owns the Genome: A Symposium on Intellectual Property and the Human Genome, was adapted from webcasts sponsored by Affymetrix.

bullet Center for Genome Ethics, Law & Policy - This Duke University Center fosters ethical uses of genome science and addresses related ethical, legal and policy issues.. The site links to a patent database and to reports on global funding for genomic research and genomic research firms (data 1999-2002)

bullet The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) – The site links to scientific information, resources and to BIO workgroups, including a biotechnology working group that commissions studies, formulates positions and advocates for the industry.

bullet The Forum on Technology & Innovation – The Forum, an activity of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, hosted a discussion entitled "Who Owns the Genome? Human Genetics and Intellectual Property" which examined this complex issue.

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Last updated: 05/13/07