EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.12.18

Patents on Life (or Supposed ‘Gene-Editing’/CRISPR) Are a Gross Distortion of the Raison D’être of Patents

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 9:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Life is made in nature, it’s not a robot and it is definitely not an invention

Patents on life
No Patents on Seeds: Stop patents on plants and animals!

Summary: The complete and utter insanity which is misappropriation of patent law for protectionism in an age of monopolies on life (DNA/genetics) in light of recent developments

THIS Saturday afternoon onwards we intend to catch up with USPTO news. It is mostly about patent scope and policy, not scandals. Like the EPO, the American (US) patent office is at least in theory denying patents on nature; in practice, loopholes remain and they are occasionally being exploited. We have been writing about it for many years because other than software patents, one family (or class) of patents we strongly object to is “nature” or “life” or “genetics” (there are other words by which to refer to this kind of patents).

As noted here earlier this month, patents on life itself are being discussed at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). This is a positive thing because we generally respect the judgments of this court, which would likely take Mayo and Myriad into account. The latest twist in all this has just been discussed in relation to a Broad Institute case and PTAB. A site of the patent microcosm said this:

The UC v Broad Institute appeal hinges on whether the PTAB made any legal errors by deciding the case in favour of Broad without “substantial evidence”, with observers believing an affirmance of the Board’s ruling is most likely

The Federal Circuit heard oral arguments in University of California (UC) v Broad Institute on April 30. A decision is expected within 90 days.

Another site of the patent microcosm, masking/hiding more and more of its pages behind a paywall these days (like the above), wrote about “top 10 CRISPR patent assignees at the world’s big five issuing agencies” (IP5). Timothy Au of IAM (blog of patent trolls) is still promoting patents on life that both the EPO and USPTO are more or less denying (Broad Institute recently had a CRISPR patent rejected by the EPO).

The USPTO is the most willing of the major patent offices to grant CRISPR-related patents, but activity in the field is increasing most rapidly in Asia, new research commissioned for IAM reveals. Earlier this year, iRunway produced a report on the CRISPR patent landscape – which we provided exclusive coverage on – analysing the geographical spread, technological focuses and top owners of the patents related to the much-discussed gene-editing technology. New research by iRunway, commissioned by IAM, now offers a more detailed breakdown of where things stand.

It says “commissioned by IAM,” but remember who’s funding IAM. It ain’t pretty. This is behind a paywall, but we can imagine what the outcome will be. It should be noted that only days ago IAM complained once again about India, which already disallows software patents, because it had denied patents on life, namely seeds. Citing [1-4] (below), IAM said [5] that “India’s agricultural industry have downplayed the decision’s importance” (by “India’s agricultural industry” he didn’t mean India’s but Germany’s/US and he was not talking about agricultural anything but merely Monsanto with its ‘industry’ of lawsuits against actual farmers). This is typical IAM.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Monsanto loses right to patent seeds

    Delhi High Court’s ruling which forbids Monsanto from stopping supplies to seed companies is a boost to domestic seed companies, and will curb the ability of multinationals to establish a seed monopoly

  2. Supreme Court to hear Monsanto plea over GM cotton patents

    Section 3(j) states that “plants and parts thereof as well as essentially biological process for production or propagation of plants” are not inventions that can be patented. The court had also directed Monsanto to seek intellectual property protection under the Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Right (PPVFR) Act 2001. It had given Monsanto three months to appeal to the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority for relief under the PPVFR Act.

  3. Supreme Court rejects Monsanto plea on seed patent order

    The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay a 2 May Delhi high court order which held that plant varieties and seeds cannot be patented under Indian law by companies like Monsanto Inc., and that royalties on genetically modified (GM) technology would be decided by a specialized agency of the agriculture ministry.

    As a result, the patent held by Monsanto, through its Indian arm Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech Ltd (MMBL) over its Bollgard-II Bt cotton seed technology, a GM variant which resists the bollworm pest, was decreed to be unenforceable in India.

    Monsanto’s appeal challenging the Delhi high court order was brought before a bench headed by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman who sought the response of seed companies over the issue.

  4. Delhi High Court’s Judgment in Monsanto v. Nuziveedu Delivers a Deadly Blow to the Agro-biotech Industry

    A Division Bench of the Delhi High Court recently pronounced its judgment in the long running litigation between Monsanto and Nuziveedu. The present judgment was delivered in cross appeals filed by both parties against the order of a single judge of the Delhi High Court that was delivered last year.

    To describe the judgment briefly, the court has delivered a knock-out punch to Monsanto, by declaring invalid its patent for Bt. Technology because Section 3(j) of the Patents Act prohibited the grant of patents for plants, plant varieties or seeds or any part thereof. The court however does give three months to Monsanto to seek protection for its invention under the Plant Variety Protection & Farmer’s Rights Act, 2002. (I’ll deal with this issue in a later post)

  5. India’s Supreme Court will hear Monsanto’s challenge to a recent ruling imperiling agri-tech patentability

    The case has generated a strong reaction over the past three weeks. Over at Spicy IP, Prashant Reddy described it as a “deadly blow to the agro-biotech industry”. The former CEO of Indian seed company Advanta warned: “A number of patents of agriculture biotech inventions in various crops from wheat to rice that have been granted by various patent authorities across the globe stand the risk of being invalidated because of the judgment.”

    Meanwhile, representatives of India’s agricultural industry have downplayed the decision’s importance – they point out that innovations in the sector will still be eligible for plant variety protection.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/9/2018: Linux 4.19 RC5 From Greg Kroah-Hartman, OpenShot 2.4.3 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Reader's Article: Affaire Benalla Strongly Connected to EPO/OEB/EPA and Former President Benoît Battistelli

    A Macron scandal has led French media to finally (and years too late) exploring some of the much more explosive scandals at the EPO, revealing some interesting new details in the process



  3. Language Patent Lawyers Are Using to Warp the Debate and Decrease Public Understanding of Patents

    The patent microcosm, trying to get the public all baffled/confused about the patent system, continues (mis)using words to convey things in misleading ways



  4. USPTO FEES ACT Makes the US Patent Office a Money-Making Machine That Systematically Disregards Patent Quality

    The lingering issues with patent assessment at the US patent office, which unlike US courts isn't quite so impartial an actor (it benefits more from granting than from rejecting)



  5. Guest Post on Ronan Le Gleut and Benalla at the French Senate (in Light of Battistelli's Epic Abuses)

    Thoughts on the possibility that Battistelli will belatedly be held accountable for his abuses, knowing that a senator representing French Citizens residing Abroad comes from the EPO



  6. A Lot of US Patents Are Entirely Bogus, But Apple Was Willing to Pay for Them

    Apple's resistance to Qualcomm's patent aggression was preceded by very heavy ("thermonuclear" by Steve Jobs' description/words) patent wars against Android and even legitimisation of clearly bogus software patents from Amazon



  7. 'Owning' Nature, Thanks to Patent Insanity and People Who Profit From That

    Questionable patents on things that always existed and are merely being explained or reassembled; those sorts of patents typically serve to merely discredit the patent system and courts too increasingly reject such patents (e.g. SCOTUS on Mayo Collaborative Services and Myriad Genetics, Inc.)



  8. Patents Stranger Than Fiction and 'Protection' From Fictional Things

    Fictional things are being treated like "inventions" and insurance companies now look to exploit fear of fictional things (man-made concepts), such as ownership of mere ideas or words



  9. Benoît Battistelli Refuses to Talk to the Media About Bringing Firearms to the EPO

    Benoît Battistelli's highly aggressive approach has attracted the attention of French media; Battistelli has reportedly refused to comment on that matter, knowing that he lacks a defense (same thing happened after he had hauled millions of EPO euros to his other employer)



  10. Patent Law Firms Have Become More Like Marketing Departments With an Aptitude for Buzzwords

    What we're observing, without much reluctance anymore, is that a lot of patent lawyers still push abstract software patents, desperately looking for new trendy terms or adjectives by which to make these seem non-abstract



  11. Interlude: The Need to Counter Misinformation From the Patent and Litigation 'Industry'

    24,500 posts reached; so we pause and reflect, seeing that many sites/blogs of patent maximalists gradually ebb away



  12. Advocacy of the Unitary Patent System Has Become Almost Identical to the 'Leave' (Brexit) Campaign

    The charades of Team UPC carry on in Kluwer Patent Blog — a blog which for a very long time served no purpose other than Unified Patent Court (UPC) advocacy



  13. Open Invention Network is Rendered Obsolete in the Wake of Alice and It's Not Even Useful in Combating Microsoft's Patent Trolls

    Changes at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in US courts' outcomes may have already meant that patent trolls rather than software patents in general are a growing threat, including those that Microsoft is backing, funding and arming to put legal pressure on GNU/Linux (and compel people/companies to host GNU/Linux instances on Azure for patent 'protection' from these trolls)



  14. Bogus Patents Which Oughtn't Have Been Granted Make Products Deliberately Worse, Reducing Innovation and Worsening Customers' Experience

    How shallow patents — or patent applications that no patent office should be accepting — turn out to be at the core of multi-billion-dollar cases/lawsuits, with potentially a billion people impacted (their products made worse to work around such questionable patents)



  15. EPO is Like a Patent Litigation (Without Actual Trial) Office, Not a Patent Examination Office

    Examination of patent applications isn't taken seriously by an office whose entire existence was supposed to be about examination; bureaucracy at the top of this office has apparently decided that the sole goal is to create more demand (i.e. lawsuits) for the litigation 'industry'



  16. Philippe Cadre From the French National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) Wants to Join António Campinos

    Yet another example of INPI's creeping influence if not 'entryism' at the EPO and this time too patent quality isn't a priority



  17. Links 22/9/2018: Mesa 18.2.1, CLIP OS, GPL Settlement in Artifex/First National Title Insurance Company

    Links for the day



  18. Links 21/9/2018: Cockpit 178, Purism 'Dongle'

    Links for the day



  19. Criticism of Unitary Patent (UPC) Agreement Doomed the UPC and Patent Trolls' Plan -- Along With the Litigation Lobby -- for Unified 'Extortion Vector'

    The Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC) was the trolls' weapon against potentially millions of European businesses; but those businesses have woken up to the fact that it was against their interests and European member states such as Spain and Poland now oppose it while Germany halts ratification



  20. It Wasn't Judges With Weapons in Their Office, It Was Benoît Battistelli Who Brought Firearms to the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The EPO scandals deepen in light of a very major scandal which has occupied the French media for a couple of months



  21. Links 20/9/2018: 2018 Linux Audio Miniconference and Blackboard's Openwashing

    Links for the day



  22. Links 19/9/2018: Chromebooks Get More DEBs, LLVM 7.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Links 18/9/2018: Qt 5.12 Alpha , MAAS 2.5.0 Beta, PostgreSQL CoC

    Links for the day



  24. Today's European Patent Office (EPO) Works for Large, Foreign Pharmaceutical Companies in Pursuit of Patents on Nature, Life, and Essential/Basic Drugs

    The never-ending insanity which is patents on DNA/genome/genetics and all sorts of basic things that are put together like a recipe in a restaurant; patents are no longer covering actual machinery that accomplishes unique tasks in complicated ways, typically assembled from scratch by humans; some supposed 'inventions' are merely born into existence by the natural splitting of organisms or conception (e.g. pregnancy)



  25. The EPO Has Quit Pretending That It Cares About Patent Quality, All It Cares About is Quantity of Lawsuits

    A new interview with Roberta Romano-Götsch, as well as the EPO's promotion of software patents alongside CIPA (Team UPC), is an indication that the EPO has ceased caring about quality and hardly even pretends to care anymore



  26. Qualcomm's Escalating Patent Wars Have Already Caused Massive Buybacks (Loss of Reserves) and Loss of Massive Clients

    Qualcomm's multi-continental patent battles are an effort to 'shock and awe' everyone into its protection racket; but the unintended effect seems to be a move further and further away from 'Qualcomm territories'



  27. Links 17/9/2018: Torvalds Takes a Break, SQLite 3.25.0 Released

    Links for the day



  28. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Helps Prevent Frivolous Software Patent Lawsuits

    PTAB with its quality-improving inter partes reviews (IPRs) is enraging patent maximalists; but by looking to work around it or weaken it they will simply reduce the confidence associated with US patents



  29. Abstract Patents (Things One Can Do With Pen and Paper, Sometimes an Abacus) Are a Waste of Money as Courts Disregard Them

    A quick roundup of patents and lawsuits at the heart of which there's little or no substance; 35 U.S.C. § 101 renders these moot



  30. “Blockchain” Hype and “FinTech”-Like Buzzwords Usher in Software Patents Everywhere, Even Where Such Patents Are Obviously Bunk

    Not only the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) embraces the "blockchain" hype; business methods and algorithms are being granted patent 'protection' (exclusivity) which would likely be disputed by the courts (if that ever reaches the courts)


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts