Bonum Certa Men Certa

Eye on Patents: Monopolies on Life/Genes, Mathematics/Algorithms

20-sided dice



Summary: New articles that shed light on the sad (and at time mortally-dependent) consequences of the patents frenzy

Human Genome Project leader warns against attempts to patent genes (gene patents have been the subject of heated debate recently [1, 2])

Human genetic information must be kept in the public domain to allow researchers to analyse it and to give members of the public fair access to medical treatments, the Nobel prizewinning scientist who led the British contribution to the Human Genome Project said today.

Speaking at a briefing at the Science Museum in London to mark the 10th anniversary of the first draft of the human genome, biologist John Sulston said scientists and lawmakers must resist attempts by corporations and individuals to patent human genes.

In the US, for example, it costs a woman between $3,000 and $4,000 to be tested for familial breast cancer because a corporation owns the patent for the two genes involved. "The fact of the matter is that many human genes have patent rights on them and this is going to get in the way of treatment unless you have a lot of money," said Sulston. "And it's going to get in the way of research."


Patents seen as low priority for software firms

Biotech, medical device and hardware startups almost always use patents to protect their prospects, but young software companies generally do not, according to the first quantitative study of how small firms use intellectual property protections.


Dot Hill Bolsters Technology Portfolio With the Addition of New Patents (bragging about software patents in a press release)

Survey challenges popular beliefs about high-tech startup patents (we mentioned and remarked on the corresponding press release the other day)

Nibi Software’s collaborative learning products offer education, training — anywhere, any time

What makes Nibi unique — and led to its application for patents — is the idea of adding comments to video or voice recordings so they can be searched and shared.

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