Problems with patenting genes

from the 3-billion-years-of-prior-art dept.
A lengthy article on the serious problems with gene patents appears in the April 2001 issue of The Washington Monthly ("Gene Blues: Is the Patent Office prepared to deal with the genomic revolution?" by N. Thompson). Taking a look at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), the author notes:
A crucial issue of public policy has been put into a legal and scientific box. That may not be the PTO's fault, but it's everyone's problem. According to Arthur Caplan, who serves on the ethical advisory board to Celera, "We have this space-shuttle biotech. But its navigation system is Santa Maria level in terms of the ethics."

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