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(The New York Times)   Supreme Court to decide if one day you could be sued by a patent troll who argues your DNA infringes on their client's gene patents   (nytimes.com) divider line 108
    More: Interesting, Look at a Gene Issue, DNA, supreme courts, gene patents, friend of the courts, Myriad Genetics, genes  
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3621 clicks; posted to Geek » on 03 Dec 2012 at 7:11 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-03 03:36:11 PM  
The idea that one can patent life is astronomically stupid and extremely dangerous in my opinion.

I see this playing out in the future where a potential lifesaving cancer, or AIDS drug will be held up in the courts for years because at some point, some research scientist maybe, perhaps used some genetic sequence that is the same or similar to some other genetic sequence to test the drug against and now the "owner"/company that owns said genetic sequence wants their share of the profits.

Think I am being weird or off in left field here? Look at Monsanto and how they are suing farmers out of existence because of cross pollination and their genetic sequence ending up in non-Monsanto based crops...and we are just talking about corn, wheat and soy here, not human life!
 
2012-12-03 03:37:57 PM  
The company urged the justices not to hear the case, saying that the "isolated molecules" at issue "were created by humans, do not occur in nature and have new and significant utilities not found in nature." It has long been settled, the company's brief went on, that "the human ingenuity required to create isolated DNA molecules" is worthy of encouragement and that its fruits are worthy of protection.

I train high school students and undergraduates how to isolate specific DNA molecules. It takes about a week and $200 worth of materials. That's definitely a ton of work that needs a patent to protect.
 
2012-12-03 03:45:37 PM  
What do you mean, Monsanto says I can't have sex? And why am I classified as "Roundup Ready?"
 
2012-12-03 03:59:03 PM  
*sputz sputz sputz CRASH*
 
GAAAHHHHHHHH!, I'm bleeding!
 
Hey! You got your DNA in my genetically modified chocolate!
 
Hey! You got your genetically modified chocolate in my DNA!.
 
*nom nom nom*
 
Hey, I think we're onto something!
 
Something DELICIOUS!
 
*cue sexy funk guitars*
 
2012-12-03 04:00:43 PM  

brap: *sputz sputz sputz CRASH*
 
GAAAHHHHHHHH!, I'm bleeding!
 
Hey! You got your DNA in my genetically modified chocolate!
 
Hey! You got your genetically modified chocolate in my DNA!.
 
*nom nom nom*
 
Hey, I think we're onto something!
 
Something DELICIOUS!
 
*cue sexy funk guitars*


I've had some DNA mix with chocolate before. Good times.
 
2012-12-03 04:06:57 PM  

Snarfangel: What do you mean, Monsanto says I can't have sex? And why am I classified as "Roundup Ready?"


Sorry pal, you should have read the fine print on your birth certificate that prohibits "seed sharing or seed saving". Nothing we can do about it now
 
2012-12-03 04:38:44 PM  
www.fredsworld02.com
 
2012-12-03 04:56:33 PM  
Ok, I am confused by this (GASP AINT THAT A SHOCKER!)

I looked at the WP entry on the lawsuit and still am having some issues processing it.

Are they claiming that the test to find a certain gene is their patent? Or, are they claiming the gene is the patent itself? I cannot make heads or tales of this damn thing
 
2012-12-03 05:15:05 PM  
Yay, I do love a good Onion articl... Oooh, wait, what the fark is this shiat??
 
2012-12-03 05:30:43 PM  

cman: Ok, I am confused by this (GASP AINT THAT A SHOCKER!)

I looked at the WP entry on the lawsuit and still am having some issues processing it.

Are they claiming that the test to find a certain gene is their patent? Or, are they claiming the gene is the patent itself? I cannot make heads or tales of this damn thing


From what I'm gathering, the RESULTS have been patented.

From my limited understanding, this is based in a court case of the company that created the organism that ate oil. They successfully argued that any genetic material that was created in a lab, could be owned. The courts agreed with this-not realizing the full implications ofhow nature actually works.

From what I gather, their procedure gives them a genetic strain that can help in determine many things medically. And then they pattened it. Hence they actually own the condition, and royalties due to detection and treatment. If not outright ownership of a cure.
 
2012-12-03 05:57:13 PM  

Darth_Lukecash: From what I gather, their procedure gives them a genetic strain that can help in determine many things medically. And then they pattened it. Hence they actually own the condition, and royalties due to detection and treatment. If not outright ownership of a cure.


Myriad Genetics is arguing that the molecules it has patented do not occur in nature. How would that entitle them to ownership of the naturally occurring condition and other methods of detecting and treating it?

If this patent applies to a method of creating man-made molecules that can be used to detect and/or treat naturally occurring genetic defects, then I don't see a problem. Other researchers just have to find other methods and molecules that do the same thing.
 
2012-12-03 05:58:01 PM  
The good news is, most farkers can claim prior work by bringing in a pile of fap socks.
 
2012-12-03 06:01:59 PM  
Hold out your hand and I'll give you a sample for analysis
 
2012-12-03 06:08:16 PM  

cman: Ok, I am confused by this (GASP AINT THAT A SHOCKER!)

I looked at the WP entry on the lawsuit and still am having some issues processing it.

Are they claiming that the test to find a certain gene is their patent? Or, are they claiming the gene is the patent itself? I cannot make heads or tales of this damn thing


The gene is the patent itself. The specific gene here is BRCA1. Scientists figured out long ago that if a woman had an allele of BRCA1, they would be more likely to have breast cancer (thus the name BRCA, duh). They then figured out what exactly the DNA sequence of the gene was and patented that.

Link There is probably a better link elsewhere.

Here is the abstract:

Specifically, the present invention relates to methods and materials used to isolate and detect a human breast and ovarian cancer predisposing gene (BRCA1), some mutant alleles of which cause susceptibility to cancer, in particular breast and ovarian cancer. More specifically, the invention relates to germline mutations in the BRCA1 gene and their use in the diagnosis of predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer. The present invention further relates to somatic mutations in the BRCA1 gene in human breast and ovarian cancer and their use in the diagnosis and prognosis of human breast and ovarian cancer. Additionally, the invention relates to somatic mutations in the BRCA1 gene in other human cancers and their use in the diagnosis and prognosis of human cancers. The invention also relates to the therapy of human cancers which have a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, including gene therapy, protein replacement therapy and protein mimetics. The invention further relates to the screening of drugs for cancer therapy. Finally, the invention relates to the screening of the BRCA1 gene for mutations, which are useful for diagnosing the predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer.

The translation is: "we figured out this gene might possibly be important so anyone who ever uses this gene for anything ever in the future is infringing on our patent." No drugs were available to target this gene, no tests were available to quickly screen for the mutation, not all of the mutations were mapped, no treatments utilizing anything about this gene were created, no one had any idea how mutations in this gene correlated with the severity of breast cancer, no one knew why this gene was correlated with cancer but figuring any of that stuff out infringes on their patent.

These people are real assholes and there is no way this patent should stand up in court. We figured out the DNA sequence of a gene, therefore if you find a new chemical that cures breast cancer that happens to inhibit the protein created from this DNA sequence you infringed on our work. Assholes.
 
2012-12-03 06:10:07 PM  

lennavan: cman: Ok, I am confused by this (GASP AINT THAT A SHOCKER!)

I looked at the WP entry on the lawsuit and still am having some issues processing it.

Are they claiming that the test to find a certain gene is their patent? Or, are they claiming the gene is the patent itself? I cannot make heads or tales of this damn thing

The gene is the patent itself. The specific gene here is BRCA1. Scientists figured out long ago that if a woman had an allele of BRCA1, they would be more likely to have breast cancer (thus the name BRCA, duh). They then figured out what exactly the DNA sequence of the gene was and patented that.

Link There is probably a better link elsewhere.

Here is the abstract:

Specifically, the present invention relates to methods and materials used to isolate and detect a human breast and ovarian cancer predisposing gene (BRCA1), some mutant alleles of which cause susceptibility to cancer, in particular breast and ovarian cancer. More specifically, the invention relates to germline mutations in the BRCA1 gene and their use in the diagnosis of predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer. The present invention further relates to somatic mutations in the BRCA1 gene in human breast and ovarian cancer and their use in the diagnosis and prognosis of human breast and ovarian cancer. Additionally, the invention relates to somatic mutations in the BRCA1 gene in other human cancers and their use in the diagnosis and prognosis of human cancers. The invention also relates to the therapy of human cancers which have a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, including gene therapy, protein replacement therapy and protein mimetics. The invention further relates to the screening of drugs for cancer therapy. Finally, the invention relates to the screening of the BRCA1 gene for mutations, which are useful for diagnosing the predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer.

The translation is: "we figured out this gene might possibly be important so anyone who ever uses this gene for anyt ...


Thank you for dumbing it down for me.
 
2012-12-03 06:25:19 PM  
I need to patent aerobic respiration and sue all those farkwits into destitution for breathing without paying me royalties.
 
2012-12-03 06:27:06 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: Myriad Genetics is arguing that the molecules it has patented do not occur in nature. How would that entitle them to ownership of the naturally occurring condition and other methods of detecting and treating it?


Ask them. Also - these do occur in nature. That's kinda the entire point. That these things occur in breast cancer patients, which is why they wanted to include in the patent any ways to detect them.

BarkingUnicorn: If this patent applies to a method of creating man-made molecules that can be used to detect and/or treat naturally occurring genetic defects


I'm not sure how to best explain this without needing some biology background. Let me try it this way. DNA is made up of A, T, C and G. So for a very specific region of the genome, called BRCA1, these guys figured this out:

GAAGTTATCAGTCGACGTGAGCTCGCTGAGACTTCCTGGACGGGGGACAGGCTGTGGGGT
TTCTCAGATAACTGGGCCCCTGCGCTCAGGAGGCCTTCACCCTCTGCTCTGGGTAAAGTT
CATTGGAACAGAAAGAAATGGATTTATCTGCTCTTCGCGTTGAAGAAGTACAAAATGTCA
TTAATGCTATGCAGAAAATCTTAGAGTGTCCCATCTGTCTGGAGTTGATCAAGGAACCTG
TCTCCACAAAGTGTGACCACATATTTTGCAAATTTTGCATGCTGAAACTTCTCAACCAGA
AGAAAGGGCCTTCACAGTGTCCTTTATGTAAGAATGATATAACCAAAAGGAGCCTACAAG
AAAGTACGAGATTTAGTCAACTTGTTGAAGAGCTATTGAAAATCATTTGTGCTTTTCAGC
TTGACACAGGTTTGGAGTATGCAAACAGCTATAATTTTGCAAAAAAGGAAAATAACTCTC
CTGAACATCTAAAAGATGAAGTTTCTATCATCCAAAGTATGGGCTACAGAAACCGTGCCA
AAAGACTTCTACAGAGTGAACCCGAAAATCCTTCCTTGCAGGAAACCAGTCTCAGTGTCC
AACTCTCTAACCTTGGAACTGTGAGAACTCTGAGGACAAAGCAGCGGATACAACCTCAAA
AGACGTCTGTCTACATTGAATTGGGATCTGATTCTTCTGAAGATACCGTTAATAAGGCAA
CTTATTGCAGTGTGGGAGATCAAGAATTGTTACAAATCACCCCTCAAGGAACCAGGGATG
AAATCAGTTTGGATTCTGCAAAAAAGGCTGCTTGTGAATTTTCTGAGACGGATGTAACAA
ATACTGAACATCATCAACCCAGTAATAATGATTTGAACACCACTGAGAAGCGTGCAGCTG
AGAGGCATCCAGAAAAGTATCAGGGTAGTTCTGTTTCAAACTTGCATGTGGAGCCATGTG
GCACAAATACTCATGCCAGCTCATTACAGCATGAGAACAGCAGTTTATTACTCACTAAAG
ACAGAATGAATGTAGAAAAGGCTGAATTCTGTAATAAAAGCAAACAGCCTGGCTTAGCAA
GGAGCCAACATAACAGATGGGCTGGAAGTAAGGAAACATGTAATGATAGGCGGACTCCCA
GCACAGAAAAAAAGGTAGATCTGAATGCTGATCCCCTGTGTGAGAGAAAAGAATGGAATA
AGCAGAAACTGCCATGCTCAGAGAATCCTAGAGATACTGAAGATGTTCCTTGGATAACAC
TAAATAGCAGCATTCAGAAAGTTAATGAGTGGTTTTCCAGAAGTGATGAACTGTTAGGTT
CTGATGACTCACATGATGGGGAGTCTGAATCAAATGCCAAAGTAGCTGATGTATTGGACG
TTCTAAATGAGGTAGATGAATATTCTGGTTCTTCAGAGAAAATAGACTTACTGGCCAGTG
ATCCTCATGAGGCTTTAATATGTAAAAGTGAAAGAGTTCACTCCAAATCAGTAGAGAGTA
ATATTGAAGACAAAATATTTGGGAAAACCTATCGGAAGAAGGCAAGCCTCCCCAACTTAA
GCCATGTAACTGAAAATCTAATTATAGGAGCATTTGTTACTGAGCCACAGATAATACAAG
AGCGTCCCCTCACAAATAAATTAAAGCGTAAAAGGAGACCTACATCAGGCCTTCATCCTG
AGGATTTTATCAAGAAAGCAGATTTGGCAGTTCAAAAGACTCCTGAAATGATAAATCAGG
GAACTAACCAAACGGAGCAGAATGGTCAAGTGATGAATATTACTAATAGTGGTCATGAGA
ATAAAACAAAAGGTGATTCTATTCAGAATGAGAAAAATCCTAACCCAATAGAATCACTCG
AAAAAGAATCTGCTTTCAAAACGAAAGCTGAACCTATAAGCAGCAGTATAAGCAATATGG
AACTCGAATTAAATATCCACAATTCAAAAGCACCTAAAAAGAATAGGCTGAGGAGGAAGT
CTTCTACCAGGCATATTCATGCGCTTGAACTAGTAGTCAGTAGAAATCTAAGCCCACCTA
ATTGTACTGAATTGCAAATTGATAGTTGTTCTAGCAGTGAAGAGATAAAGAAAAAAAAGT
ACAACCAAATGCCAGTCAGGCACAGCAGAAACCTACAACTCATGGAAGGTAAAGAACCTG
CAACTGGAGCCAAGAAGAGTAACAAGCCAAATGAACAGACAAGTAAAAGACATGACAGTG
ATACTTTCCCAGAGCTGAAGTTAACAAATGCACCTGGTTCTTTTACTAAGTGTTCAAATA
CCAGTGAACTTAAAGAATTTGTCAATCCTAGCCTTCCAAGAGAAGAAAAAGAAGAGAAAC
TAGAAACAGTTAAAGTGTCTAATAATGCTGAAGACCCCAAAGATCTCATGTTAAGTGGAG
AAAGGGTTTTGCAAACTGAAAGATCTGTAGAGAGTAGCAGTATTTCACTGGTACCTGGTA
CTGATTATGGCACTCAGGAAAGTATCTCGTTACTGGAAGTTAGCACTCTAGGGAAGGCAA
AAACAGAACCAAATAAATGTGTGAGTCAGTGTGCAGCATTTGAAAACCCCAAGGGACTAA
TTCATGGTTGTTCCAAAGATAATAGAAATGACACAGAAGGCTTTAAGTATCCATTGGGAC
ATGAAGTTAACCACAGTCGGGAAACAAGCATAGAAATGGAAGAAAGTGAACTTGATGCTC
AGTATTTGCAGAATACATTCAAGGTTTCAAAGCGCCAGTCATTTGCTCTGTTTTCAAATC
CAGGAAATGCAGAAGAGGAATGTGCAACATTCTCTGCCCACTCTGGGTCCTTAAAGAAAC
AAAGTCCAAAAGTCACTTTTGAATGTGAACAAAAGGAAGAAAATCAAGGAAAGAATGAGT
CTAATATCAAGCCTGTACAGACAGTTAATATCACTGCAGGCTTTCCTGTGGTTGGTCAGA
AAGATAAGCCAGTTGATAATGCCAAATGTAGTATCAAAGGAGGCTCTAGGTTTTGTCTAT
CATCTCAGTTCAGAGGCAACGAAACTGGACTCATTACTCCAAATAAACATGGACTTTTAC
AAAACCCATATCGTATACCACCACTTTTTCCCATCAAGTCATTTGTTAAAACTAAATGTA
AGAAAAATCTGCTAGAGGAAAACTTTGAGGAACATTCAATGTCACCTGAAAGAGAAATGG
GAAATGAGAACATTCCAAGTACAGTGAGCACAATTAGCCGTAATAACATTAGAGAAAATG
TTTTTAAAGGAGCCAGCTCAAGCAATATTAATGAAGTAGGTTCCAGTACTAATGAAGTGG
GCTCCAGTATTAATGAAATAGGTTCCAGTGATGAAAACATTCAAGCAGAACTAGGTAGAA
ACAGAGGGCCAAAATTGAATGCTATGCTTAGATTAGGGGTTTTGCAACCTGAGGTCTATA
AACAAAGTCTTCCTGGAAGTAATTGTAAGCATCCTGAAATAAAAAAGCAAGAATATGAAG
AAGTAGTTCAGACTGTTAATACAGATTTCTCTCCATATCTGATTTCAGATAACTTAGAAC
AGCCTATGGGAAGTAGTCATGCATCTCAGGTTTGTTCTGAGACACCTGATGACCTGTTAG
ATGATGGTGAAATAAAGGAAGATACTAGTTTTGCTGAAAATGACATTAAGGAAAGTTCTG
CTGTTTTTAGCAAAAGCGTCCAGAGAGGAGAGCTTAGCAGGAGTCCTAGCCCTTTCACCC
ATACACATTTGGCTCAGGGTTACCGAAGAGGGGCCAAGAAATTAGAGTCCTCAGAAGAGA
ACTTATCTAGTGAGGATGAAGAGCTTCCCTGCTTCCAACACTTGTTATTTGGTAAAGTAA
ACAATATACCTTCTCAGTCTACTAGGCATAGCACCGTTGCTACCGAGTGTCTGTCTAAGA
ACACAGAGGAGAATTTATTATCATTGAAGAATAGCTTAAATGACTGCAGTAACCAGGTAA
TATTGGCAAAGGCATCTCAGGAACATCACCTTAGTGAGGAAACAAAATGTTCTGCTAGCT
TGTTTTCTTCACAGTGCAGTGAATTGGAAGACTTGACTGCAAATACAAACACCCAGGATC
CTTTCTTGATTGGTTCTTCCAAACAAATGAGGCATCAGTCTGAAAGCCAGGGAGTTGGTC
TGAGTGACAAGGAATTGGTTTCAGATGATGAAGAAAGAGGAACGGGCTTGGAAGAAAATA
ATCAAGAAGAGCAAAGCATGGATTCAAACTTAGGTGAAGCAGCATCTGGGTGTGAGAGTG
AAACAAGCGTCTCTGAAGACTGCTCAGGGCTATCCTCTCAGAGTGACATTTTAACCACTC
AGCAGAGGGATACCATGCAACATAACCTGATAAAGCTCCAGCAGGAAATGGCTGAACTAG
AAGCTGTGTTAGAACAGCATGGGAGCCAGCCTTCTAACAGCTACCCTTCCATCATAAGTG
ACTCCTCTGCCCTTGAGGACCTGCGAAATCCAGAACAAAGCACATCAGAAAAAGCAGTAT
TAACTTCACAGAAAAGTAGTGAATACCCTATAAGCCAGAATCCAGAAGGCCTTTCTGCTG
ACAAGTTTGAGGTGTCTGCAGATAGTTCTACCAGTAAAAATAAAGAACCAGGAGTGGAAA
GGTCATCCCCTTCTAAATGCCCATCATTAGATGATAGGTGGTACATGCACAGTTGCTCTG
GGAGTCTTCAGAATAGAAACTACCCATCTCAAGAGGAGCTCATTAAGGTTGTTGATGTGG
AGGAGCAACAGCTGGAAGAGTCTGGGCCACACGATTTGACGGAAACATCTTACTTGCCAA
GGCAAGATCTAGAGGGAACCCCTTACCTGGAATCTGGAATCAGCCTCTTCTCTGATGACC
CTGAATCTGATCCTTCTGAAGACAGAGCCCCAGAGTCAGCTCGTGTTGGCAACATACCAT
CTTCAACCTCTGCATTGAAAGTTCCCCAATTGAAAGTTGCAGAATCTGCCCAGGGTCCAG
CTGCTGCTCATACTACTGATACTGCTGGGTATAATGCAATGGAAGAAAGTGTGAGCAGGG
AGAAGCCAGAATTGACAGCTTCAACAGAAAGGGTCAACAAAAGAATGTCCATGGTGGTGT
CTGGCCTGACCCCAGAAGAATTTATGCTCGTGTACAAGTTTGCCAGAAAACACCACATCA
CTTTAACTAATCTAATTACTGAAGAGACTACTCATGTTGTTATGAAAACAGATGCTGAGT
TTGTGTGTGAACGGACACTGAAATATTTTCTAGGAATTGCGGGAGGAAAATGGGTAGTTA
GCTATTTCTGGGTGACCCAGTCTATTAAAGAAAGAAAAATGCTGAATGAGCATGATTTTG
AAGTCAGAGGAGATGTGGTCAATGGAAGAAACCACCAAGGTCCAAAGCGAGCAAGAGAAT
CCCAGGACAGAAAGATCTTCAGGGGGCTAGAAATCTGTTGCTATGGGCCCTTCACCAACA
TGCCCACAGATCAACTGGAATGGATGGTACAGCTGTGTGGTGCTTCTGTGGTGAAGGAGC
TTTCATCATTCACCCTTGGCACAGGTGTCCACCCAATTGTGGTTGTGCAGCCAGATGCCT
GGACAGAGGACAATGGCTTCCATGCAATTGGGCAGATGTGTGAGGCACCTGTGGTGACCC
GAGAGTGGGTGTTGGACAGTGTAGCACTCTACCAGTGCCAGGAGCTGGACACCTACCTGA
TACCCCAGATCCCCCACAGCCACTACTGACTGCAGCCAGCCACAGGTACAGAGCCACAGG
ACCCCAAGAATGAGCTTACAAAGTGGCCTTTCCAGGCCCTGGGAGCTCCTCTCACTCTTC
AGTCCTTCTACTGTCCTGGCTACTAAATATTTTATGTACATCAGCCTGAAAAGGACTTCT
GGCTATGCAAGGGTCCCTTAAAGATTTTCTGCTTGAAGTCTCCCTTGGAAATCTGCCATG
AGCACAAAATTATGGTAATTTTTCACCTGAGAAGATTTTAAAACCATTTAAACGCCACCA
ATTGAGCAAGATGCTGATTCATTATTTATCAGCCCTATTCTTTCTATTCAGGCTGTTGTT
GGCTTAGGGCTGGAAGCACAGAGTGGCTTGGCCTCAAGAGAATAGCTGGTTTCCCTAAGT
TTACTTCTCTAAAACCCTGTGTTCACAAATGCAGAGAGTCAGACCCTTCAATGGAAGGAG
AGTGCTTGGGATCGATTATGTGACTTAAAGTCAGAATAGTCCTTGGGCAGTTCTCAAATG
TTGGAGTGGAACATTGGGGAGGAAATTCTGAGGCAGGTATTAGAAATGAAAAGGAAACTT
GAAACCTGGGCATGGTGGCTCACGCCTGTAATCCCAGCACTTTGGGAGGCCAAGGTGGGC
AGATCACTGGAGGTCAGGAGTTCGAAACCAGCCTGGCCAACATGGTGAAACCCCATCTCT
ACTAAAAATACAGAAATTAGCCGGTCATGGTGGTGGACACCTGTAATCCCAGCTACTCAG
GTGGCTAAGGCAGGAGAATCACTTCAGCCCGGGAGGTGGAGGTTGCAGTGAGCCAAGATC
ATACCACGGCACTCCAGCCTGGGTGACAGTGAGACTGTGGCTCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AA


That's it. That is what was figured out. At that time they knew this specific sequence of A's, T's, C's and G's corresponded to a portion of the genome that might be correlated with breast cancer. Now recall DNA is like an instruction manual to generate a protein. Because they figured out the A's, T's, C's and G's, if I create a drug that cures breast cancer by targetting the protein generated by the BRCA1 DNA, I infringed on their patent. If I come up with a test that determines if a woman has a mutation in BRCA1 and how likely she will be to get cancer, I infringed on their patent. All they figured out was the A's, T's, C's and G's.
 
2012-12-03 06:58:04 PM  

cman: Ok, I am confused by this (GASP AINT THAT A SHOCKER!)

I looked at the WP entry on the lawsuit and still am having some issues processing it.

Are they claiming that the test to find a certain gene is their patent? Or, are they claiming the gene is the patent itself? I cannot make heads or tales of this damn thing


the issue is that once they identify and isolate a particular gene and it's function anyone who can read your DNA can do a test to see if you have it. The company wants to "patent" the gene so diagnostic tests would be proprietary and only they could sell them. They argue that without that exclusivity, they lose the economic incentive to do further research. Which I understand on one level, but on the other most of the genes testing companies have been outgrowth of grant-funded research at public universities, and many of the companies that then patent the discoveries are attempts to monetize that research by the lead investigator and/or the university, so the argument isn't as strong as they claim
 
2012-12-03 07:15:20 PM  
Does this mean I'm going to have to fill out paperwork every time I fap?
 
2012-12-03 07:26:05 PM  
www.technobuffalo.com
/Patent pending
 
2012-12-03 07:29:02 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: Darth_Lukecash: From what I gather, their procedure gives them a genetic strain that can help in determine many things medically. And then they pattened it. Hence they actually own the condition, and royalties due to detection and treatment. If not outright ownership of a cure.

Myriad Genetics is arguing that the molecules it has patented do not occur in nature. How would that entitle them to ownership of the naturally occurring condition and other methods of detecting and treating it?

If this patent applies to a method of creating man-made molecules that can be used to detect and/or treat naturally occurring genetic defects, then I don't see a problem. Other researchers just have to find other methods and molecules that do the same thing.


That. Contrary to Subby's fearmongering, you couldn't possibly be sued for having the gene since Myriad's explicit position is that the natural form of the gene is not covered by the patent. You could only infringe if, somehow, your body had free single-gene segments of DNA floating around... and even then, you'd have a great argument that the patent would be invalid if those segments were natural.
Plus, Myriad doesn't want to sue cancer patients. All their money is tied up in treatments, wigs, and sadness. They want to sue cancer test manufacturers who use Myriad's research without paying royalties.

Darth_Lukecash: From my limited understanding, this is based in a court case of the company that created the organism that ate oil. They successfully argued that any genetic material that was created in a lab, could be owned. The courts agreed with this-not realizing the full implications ofhow nature actually works.


It's related, but your interpretation is a bit off. The case you're thinking of is Diamond v. Chakrabarty, and it doesn't really apply here... Chakrabarty established the principle that an invention isn't barred from patentability, merely because it's alive. It's a good decision, since (i) Congress never added an "unless it's alive" exemption to 35 USC 101, and (ii) why shouldn't brand new bacteria, wetware symbiotic computers, and artificially intelligent systems be patentable?

This case really has more to do with "refining" or inherency. U-235 is never found in nature, on its own... It's always found with U-238. But it's not patentable because natural uranium contains it, so it's not a "new" composition of matter. Nonetheless, refining processes are patentable.
The question is whether isolated genes are not patentable for the same reason - they're always found with the rest of the DNA. But, is isolating them a transformative step that actually changes them - like making vulcanized rubber from natural rubber - or is it merely an isolation step, like centrifuging uranium?
 
2012-12-03 07:30:54 PM  
This will be decided by nine people who can't program a DVR to record Matlock.

/but I'm sure if you hire a couple of spouses as consultants, the case will go your way.
 
2012-12-03 07:32:04 PM  

Magorn: They argue that without that exclusivity, they lose the economic incentive to do further research. Which I understand on one level, but on the other most of the genes testing companies have been outgrowth of grant-funded research at public universities, and many of the companies that then patent the discoveries are attempts to monetize that research by the lead investigator and/or the university, so the argument isn't as strong as they claim


It's still a strong claim... Public (and private) research universities make a ton of their budgets from patent licensing. For example, MIT made $147.5 million in 2010 from its licensing activities, or a little over a fifth of its research budget.
 
2012-12-03 07:35:27 PM  
Small time farmers get their ass sued off when they use seed produced by their own crops which thanks to the wind and honeybees were pollinated by the genetically modified crop in the field across the street. One day somebody's going to genetically modify a human using a patented gene. That human will reproduce, and during the course of the pregnancy the company that holds the patent on the modified gene will more than likely sue in order to force the parents to either terminate the pregnancy, pay up, or award the plaintiffs custody of the child. After all, they'll have legal precedent on their side.
 
2012-12-03 07:35:48 PM  

Magorn: cman: Ok, I am confused by this (GASP AINT THAT A SHOCKER!)

I looked at the WP entry on the lawsuit and still am having some issues processing it.

Are they claiming that the test to find a certain gene is their patent? Or, are they claiming the gene is the patent itself? I cannot make heads or tales of this damn thing

the issue is that once they identify and isolate a particular gene and it's function anyone who can read your DNA can do a test to see if you have it. The company wants to "patent" the gene so diagnostic tests would be proprietary and only they could sell them. They argue that without that exclusivity, they lose the economic incentive to do further research. Which I understand on one level, but on the other most of the genes testing companies have been outgrowth of grant-funded research at public universities, and many of the companies that then patent the discoveries are attempts to monetize that research by the lead investigator and/or the university, so the argument isn't as strong as they claim


Further elucidation on the reasoning behind the district court and the appeals court.

The district court ruled that since the sequence is found in nature, it falls under the clause that makes such things un-patentable.

The appeals court took that argument and tilted it just a little. The gene, as it exists in you, is not patentable. Think about the genetic code as a recipe book with 20,000 recipes split into 23 volumes (of which there are two copies of each volume, each with minor variations). The argument was that the books as found are not patentable. The gene was part of a set, and was found naturally in that set. Unfortunately, the judge (Who I believe was operating under the 'This must be patentable, I just have to figure out how to legally justify it' mindset. This is the CAFC. They tend to lean pro-patent. A lot) ruled that the copy made of the gene (Which at the moment is required to read it) was synthetic and thus patentable. Which is pants on head retarded. This is now saying that the cookbook is not patentable, but if I stick it on a xerox and photocopy a page, that is now substantially different than the page in the book.

In short, no, this isn't about the fact that your DNA would infringe, because it exists as part of the set. This is about the ability to read the code. Tying in to the Prometheus vs Mayo case earlier this year about diagnostic tests.

This wouldn't effect Monsanto either. Well. Not in the way you think it might. Monsanto doesn't deal in genes, it deals in products and contracts. They rely more on the fact that they've made a potato with Round-up ready resistance and the fact that you've signed a contract not to save seed (or eyes. Or whatever.) They don't rely on the code itself.
 
2012-12-03 07:36:15 PM  

lennavan: The company urged the justices not to hear the case, saying that the "isolated molecules" at issue "were created by humans, do not occur in nature and have new and significant utilities not found in nature." It has long been settled, the company's brief went on, that "the human ingenuity required to create isolated DNA molecules" is worthy of encouragement and that its fruits are worthy of protection.

I train high school students and undergraduates how to isolate specific DNA molecules. It takes about a week and $200 worth of materials. That's definitely a ton of work that needs a patent to protect.


Sure, isolating is straightforward... Finding out which ones to isolate, there's the difficult part. It's like the old joke about the doctor's bill with $5 for hitting you with a hammer, and $295 for knowing where to hit.
 
2012-12-03 07:41:22 PM  

pheelix: Small time farmers get their ass sued off when they use seed produced by their own crops which thanks to the wind and honeybees were pollinated by the genetically modified crop in the field across the street the genetically modified crop which they've carefully collected and isolated by destroying all of the non-modified crop it was mixed with.


FTFY. There are some reasonable questions around the Monsanto suit, but its disingenuous to claim that bees and the wind were responsible for the field of 100% Monsanto canola.
 
2012-12-03 07:43:30 PM  

Theaetetus: Magorn: They argue that without that exclusivity, they lose the economic incentive to do further research. Which I understand on one level, but on the other most of the genes testing companies have been outgrowth of grant-funded research at public universities, and many of the companies that then patent the discoveries are attempts to monetize that research by the lead investigator and/or the university, so the argument isn't as strong as they claim

It's still a strong claim... Public (and private) research universities make a ton of their budgets from patent licensing. For example, MIT made $147.5 million in 2010 from its licensing activities, or a little over a fifth of its research budget.


Which is the problem, actually. Bell Labs is long gone and no one in private industry funds "pure" (no obvious commercial implications) research of the kind that gave us such marvels as the LASER (yes it is technically and acronym) but we were told that Universities would pick up the slack in that dept-and they did, for a while. Then a few UCLA and MIT professors started making fortunes off certain discoveries and every third CS prof was making millions founding dotcoms. Suddenly the universities decided they wanted "in" and forced revenue sharing agreements on all their profs. Now, research simply doesn't get funded that doesn't show immediate commercial potential as Universities have basically become corporations all but in name.

Personally I'd kick in and extra $50 per person per year in taxes (about $15 billion/year) and like to see us publicly fund genetic research, manufacture "orphan" drugs and vaccines, and do research on botanical-based drug, with the caveat that anything so discovered gets released into the public domain
 
2012-12-03 07:46:58 PM  

Theaetetus: Magorn: They argue that without that exclusivity, they lose the economic incentive to do further research. Which I understand on one level, but on the other most of the genes testing companies have been outgrowth of grant-funded research at public universities, and many of the companies that then patent the discoveries are attempts to monetize that research by the lead investigator and/or the university, so the argument isn't as strong as they claim

It's still a strong claim... Public (and private) research universities make a ton of their budgets from patent licensing. For example, MIT made $147.5 million in 2010 from its licensing activities, or a little over a fifth of its research budget.


But a vast majority of them don't make that money back. Pointing out the shining star doesn't counter the fact that much of these research grants are NSF, NIH, DOE funded. Publically funded. And while there are strict rules on what you can and cannot do with that money, facilities that seem to be producing private results are often paid for by public money.

Additionally

They want to sue cancer test manufacturers who use Myriad's research without paying royalties.

This presents a giant problem for validation. And for anyone who is working around this area. The problem here is that what Myriad seems to be patenting a (putative) fact. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are in some allelic states, tied to breast cancer. Currently, there's an issue with trying to verify this since Myriad does not like people poking around in the gene set. So they'll either set royalties high, or otherwise obfuscate the field. Additionally, they stagnate the field. A professor I knew who was trying to predict cancer incidence by Machine learning had to deliberately leave out BRCA1 and BRCA2. I didn't actually notice this when he was giving the seminar, but when looking at his geneset, he'd left them both out. I asked, and he said 'I can't include them for legal reasons'.

This is why Prometheus has left me hopeful. This is essentially a diagnostic test, and should be treated as such.
 
2012-12-03 07:47:06 PM  

Theaetetus: pheelix: Small time farmers get their ass sued off when they use seed produced by their own crops which thanks to the wind and honeybees were pollinated by the genetically modified crop in the field across the street the genetically modified crop which they've carefully collected and isolated by destroying all of the non-modified crop it was mixed with.

FTFY. There are some reasonable questions around the Monsanto suit, but its disingenuous to claim that bees and the wind were responsible for the field of 100% Monsanto canola.


No, but then the discovery that plants can spontaneously "swap" genes through the air raises a question as to whether that actually WAS Monsanto Canola or just had some of the smae genetic markers
 
2012-12-03 07:47:39 PM  

Theaetetus: Sure, isolating is straightforward... Finding out which ones to isolate, there's the difficult part. It's like the old joke about the doctor's bill with $5 for hitting you with a hammer, and $295 for knowing where to hit.


So in your opinion, if people didn't know what caused sugar cane sap to be sweet, someone could have patented glucose?
 
2012-12-03 07:49:55 PM  
3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-12-03 07:50:12 PM  
I can see granting a patent on a new process that isolates genes, but granting a patent in itself is beyond stupid.

"You stick some material in this slot here and in 30 seconds it prints out the gene sequence." That's cool and awesome and patentable.

"If you want to stick your material in her slot, you need to pay a license to use our patent." Fark that!
 
2012-12-03 07:51:59 PM  

Magorn: Theaetetus: pheelix: Small time farmers get their ass sued off when they use seed produced by their own crops which thanks to the wind and honeybees were pollinated by the genetically modified crop in the field across the street the genetically modified crop which they've carefully collected and isolated by destroying all of the non-modified crop it was mixed with.

FTFY. There are some reasonable questions around the Monsanto suit, but its disingenuous to claim that bees and the wind were responsible for the field of 100% Monsanto canola.

No, but then the discovery that plants can spontaneously "swap" genes through the air raises a question as to whether that actually WAS Monsanto Canola or just had some of the smae genetic markers


The Max Planck Institute. Now that brings back memories.

Reading carefully though, that's CHLOROPLAST swap. Not genomic. It's a little different. What you might be looking for is the recent publications on horizontal gene transfer due to third parties in plants. Which occur more often than we originally guessed. Again though, probably not in this case. You'd have to pick up an awfully specific part of the genome to get what happened to have happened. As much as I hate to admit it, Thaetus is right. There are a lot of dirty hands in the Monsanto cases, and not all of them are corporate.
 
2012-12-03 07:53:24 PM  

OgreMagi: I can see granting a patent on a new process that isolates genes, but granting a patent in itself is beyond stupid.

"You stick some material in this slot here and in 30 seconds it prints out the gene sequence." That's cool and awesome and patentable.

"If you want to stick your material in her slot, you need to pay a license to use our patent." Fark that!


Dude. If you knew how to do that, I could make you a billionaire.
 
2012-12-03 07:54:52 PM  

Kinek: This is why Prometheus has left me hopeful. This is essentially a diagnostic test, and should be treated as such.


I don't think that'll help much. Prometheus' real problems were bad drafting that essentially claimed known steps with a law of nature. You could have the same claims be valid by writing it in more of a software perspective, with machines performing various steps and not trying to claim the correlation. If you read it in context with Bilski, it's more about how purely mental processes are not patent eligible.
 
2012-12-03 07:55:08 PM  

lennavan: That's it. That is what was figured out. At that time they knew this specific sequence of A's, T's, C's and G's corresponded to a portion of the genome that might be correlated with breast cancer. Now recall DNA is like an instruction manual to generate a protein. Because they figured out the A's, T's, C's and G's, if I create a drug that cures breast cancer by targetting the protein generated by the BRCA1 DNA, I infringed on their patent. If I come up with a test that determines if a woman has a mutation in BRCA1 and how likely she will be to get cancer, I infringed on their patent. All they figured out was the A's, T's, C's and G's.


So it's like claiming copyright on a book because you figured out how to read it.

This is bullshiat.
 
2012-12-03 07:56:31 PM  

Cubicle Jockey: Theaetetus: Sure, isolating is straightforward... Finding out which ones to isolate, there's the difficult part. It's like the old joke about the doctor's bill with $5 for hitting you with a hammer, and $295 for knowing where to hit.

So in your opinion, if people didn't know what caused sugar cane sap to be sweet, someone could have patented glucose?


No, see the other post. Glucose does exist on its own in nature, and therefore is not a "new" composition of matter.
 
2012-12-03 07:58:07 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: lennavan: That's it. That is what was figured out. At that time they knew this specific sequence of A's, T's, C's and G's corresponded to a portion of the genome that might be correlated with breast cancer. Now recall DNA is like an instruction manual to generate a protein. Because they figured out the A's, T's, C's and G's, if I create a drug that cures breast cancer by targetting the protein generated by the BRCA1 DNA, I infringed on their patent. If I come up with a test that determines if a woman has a mutation in BRCA1 and how likely she will be to get cancer, I infringed on their patent. All they figured out was the A's, T's, C's and G's.

So it's like claiming copyright on a book because you figured out how to read it.

This is bullshiat.


No, it's like claiming a patent on magnetic monopoles because you figured out how to isolate a pole of a magnet.
 
2012-12-03 07:59:30 PM  

Cubicle Jockey: Theaetetus: Sure, isolating is straightforward... Finding out which ones to isolate, there's the difficult part. It's like the old joke about the doctor's bill with $5 for hitting you with a hammer, and $295 for knowing where to hit.

So in your opinion, if people didn't know what caused sugar cane sap to be sweet, someone could have patented glucose?


The issue with patenting genes is thus. It's not hard to isolate a gene. This might be a bit of cockiness talking, but all it takes is time and a reasonable level of competentce. The idea of patenting a gene is ridiculous, not because of any kind of morality argument, but because it's not that innovative to find a gene. Skill comes in when you want to find a lot of genes very quickly, or find associations with other genes quickly. Skill reduces the time to find a gene and to find a use for it. Skill reduces the money that you spend finding it.

To me, the genome is like a giant plot of land with little grid squares. You dig up one, you find a gene. You dig up another, you find a gene. What those genes do takes some time, and I'm not belittling the people who work on this. But the key comes in making applications. That's the new and novel part. Finding a gene is not novel. And it's certainly not 'non-obvious'.
 
2012-12-03 08:01:28 PM  

Theaetetus: No, see the other post. Glucose does exist on its own in nature, and therefore is not a "new" composition of matter.


This gene can be found in living people already. How does it not exist on it's own in nature?

Is it because they isolated it? Well then Fermilab should have patented all six quarks, since those are not found occurring naturally on their own either.
 
2012-12-03 08:03:11 PM  

Theaetetus: Cubicle Jockey: Theaetetus: Sure, isolating is straightforward... Finding out which ones to isolate, there's the difficult part. It's like the old joke about the doctor's bill with $5 for hitting you with a hammer, and $295 for knowing where to hit.

So in your opinion, if people didn't know what caused sugar cane sap to be sweet, someone could have patented glucose?

No, see the other post. Glucose does exist on its own in nature, and therefore is not a "new" composition of matter.


A tree is not patentable, but apparently its leaf is. The claim that the new isolated DNA is new is idiotic. The purpose of the copy is so that it can be read and the original sequence inferred. If it was 'NEW' then PCR would be farking worthless. Do you want your photocopier changing your document around? Perhaps editing some words?
 
2012-12-03 08:04:16 PM  
This is the kind of shiat where we should break out a noose every time some asshole has the gall to even ask about.
 
2012-12-03 08:05:43 PM  

Kinek: OgreMagi: I can see granting a patent on a new process that isolates genes, but granting a patent in itself is beyond stupid.

"You stick some material in this slot here and in 30 seconds it prints out the gene sequence." That's cool and awesome and patentable.

"If you want to stick your material in her slot, you need to pay a license to use our patent." Fark that!

Dude. If you knew how to do that, I could make you a billionaire.


Some day someone will do just that. It will probably take more than 30 seconds, but any automated process to sequence will be worth a farking fortune.

Now I just need a way to be able to insert my material in her slot. That would also be worth a small fortune.
 
2012-12-03 08:06:52 PM  

Theaetetus: Kinek: This is why Prometheus has left me hopeful. This is essentially a diagnostic test, and should be treated as such.

I don't think that'll help much. Prometheus' real problems were bad drafting that essentially claimed known steps with a law of nature. You could have the same claims be valid by writing it in more of a software perspective, with machines performing various steps and not trying to claim the correlation. If you read it in context with Bilski, it's more about how purely mental processes are not patent eligible.


Which is why the CAFC judge bent over backwards to claim that the 'synthetic' molecule's production was patentable when it has no right to be. Not the fact that the Allele A results in Breast cancer. They started out at 'This is patentable. I just need to figure out how.'
 
2012-12-03 08:07:48 PM  

Cubicle Jockey: Theaetetus: No, see the other post. Glucose does exist on its own in nature, and therefore is not a "new" composition of matter.

This gene can be found in living people already. How does it not exist on it's own in nature? Is it because they isolated it?


Yep, see above.

Well then Fermilab should have patented all six quarks, since those are not found occurring naturally on their own either.

Arguably, they could have. Mind you, only isolated quarks would infringe their patent, so it's not as if they could run out and slap everyone with suits.
 
2012-12-03 08:08:50 PM  

lennavan: I train high school students and undergraduates how to isolate specific DNA molecules. It takes about a week and $200 worth of materials. That's definitely a ton of work that needs a patent to protect.


I'm with you. I totally am.

But that's not the same thing. Are you looking for something you already know is there and expect to find using proven methods?
 
2012-12-03 08:09:16 PM  

Cubicle Jockey: Is it because they isolated it? Well then Fermilab should have patented all six quarks, since those are not found occurring naturally on their own either.


That would be good.

"Hey you made that thing out of matter! We hold the patent on matter!

Are these insane patent battles global or restricted to the US?
 
2012-12-03 08:12:13 PM  

Kinek: Theaetetus: Cubicle Jockey: Theaetetus: Sure, isolating is straightforward... Finding out which ones to isolate, there's the difficult part. It's like the old joke about the doctor's bill with $5 for hitting you with a hammer, and $295 for knowing where to hit.

So in your opinion, if people didn't know what caused sugar cane sap to be sweet, someone could have patented glucose?

No, see the other post. Glucose does exist on its own in nature, and therefore is not a "new" composition of matter.

A tree is not patentable, but apparently its leaf is.


Leaves fall off trees and lie on the ground on their own. I think the monopole is a better comparison. :P

The claim that the new isolated DNA is new is idiotic. The purpose of the copy is so that it can be read and the original sequence inferred. If it was 'NEW' then PCR would be farking worthless.

Claiming that something can't be new because it's used for something that isn't new is illogical. Computers do calculations that have existed for thousands of years, so they can't be new either?

Kinek: Which is why the CAFC judge bent over backwards to claim that the 'synthetic' molecule's production was patentable when it has no right to be. Not the fact that the Allele A results in Breast cancer. They started out at 'This is patentable. I just need to figure out how.'


I know what you mean, but that's the process they're supposed to follow - specifically "this is presumed patentable. Can I prove that it's not?" It's similar to the requirements of "innocent until proven guilty". In this case, they asked if they could prove that it was not a new composition of matter but already existent in nature, and, within the narrow bounds of the claim, they couldn't.
 
2012-12-03 08:15:51 PM  

whatshisname: Cubicle Jockey: Is it because they isolated it? Well then Fermilab should have patented all six quarks, since those are not found occurring naturally on their own either.

That would be good.

"Hey you made that thing out of matter! We hold the patent on matter!


See above - they would've held the patent on isolated quarks, so you could just respond "this is baryonic, so suck it."

Are these insane patent battles global or restricted to the US?

Each country has its own patent law, so the battles are restricted... but each country's patent law is highly similar, so there's a global war over the same issues, to extend the analogy. For example, the Bilski decision was a US-only decision, but Europe (and others) adopted almost identical rules.

/so when someone tells you that software isn't patentable in Europe, they're really misunderstanding both European and US law
 
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