Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Term 'Life Science' Has Outlived Its Usefulness

Large pumpkin



Summary: People who merely explain what's in nature pretend to have just invented the wheel; discoveries are not inventions, however, especially discoveries of what has always been around; therefore patents are entirely misplaced in the domain, even if one calls that a "science"

THE TERM "Life Sciences" was always rather bizarre to me. It started to be used a lot more after I had completed my Ph.D., whereupon all sorts of departments around here started calling themselves "Life Science" (vague term), offered courses in "the Life Sciences", job titles started to be renamed accordingly and so on. It's not a synonym for biologist, geneticist etc. It's just some nebulous new thing.

"It's not a synonym for biologist, geneticist etc. It's just some nebulous new thing."What is a "Life Science" really? A science or an investigation of life itself? Or nature? Maybe reverse engineering? However one defines it (and definitions may change over time and de facto depend on common use), the term nowadays seems to be used quite abundantly to justify patents on things that do not merit them. It's not medical, it's not necessarily a science (I did my Ph.D. in "Medical Biophysics" by the way) and it often involves something that's not invented, just privatised. Consider this new article titled "Ethiopia vs Europe: The Intellectual Property of an Ancient Grain, Teff" and another slightly older one from the same source: "Colombia: Reinstates Roundup Fumigations, This Time By Drone".

Who 'owns' seeds? Who 'owns' animals? We don't talk about individual seeds and animals but the very concept of them, or the DNA behind them. The EPO and the USPTO have both stepped in a puddle of insane patent maximalism, invoking at least the wrath of farmers in Europe, where Monsanto has come to 'rename' itself Bayer.

"Who 'owns' seeds? Who 'owns' animals? We don't talk about individual seeds and animals but the very concept of them, or the DNA behind them."6 days ago Kluwer Patent Blog wrote about "Edwards Lifesciences" (one word) and IAM, which promotes patent trolls, has just said (in its headline) that "HP moves into life sciences" (whatever that means).

Here they go again with “life sciences,” often a misnomer and excuse for patents on nature and life. "Life Sciences" is, in our experience, mostly a couple of buzzwords (two-word term) by which to promote patents on life itself. That's a problem. Patent Docs, a site of patent maximalists, now has this thing called "PTAB Life Sciences Report". The preface: "About the PTAB Life Sciences Report: Each month we will report on developments at the PTAB involving life sciences patents."

"They basically call life itself (or nature) a "science" and thus make it sound acceptable to grant patents on life/nature."Now they say "life sciences patents," alluding quite likely to some vague concepts like patented genetics. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) rightly tackles many of these.

Patent examiners need to ask themselves whether that term, "life sciences patents," means anything like "science patents". They basically call life itself (or nature) a "science" and thus make it sound acceptable to grant patents on life/nature.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Firefox Has Fallen to 2% in New Zealand
At around 2%, at least in the US (2% or below this threshold), there's no longer an obligation to test sites for any Gecko-based browser
GNU/Linux in Kyrgyzstan: From 0.5% to 5% in Eight Years
the country is almost the size of the UK
Microsoft-Connected Sites Trying to Shift Attention Away From Microsoft's Megabreach Only Days Before Important If Not Unprecedented Grilling by the US Government?
Why does the mainstream media not entertain the possibility a lot of these talking points are directed out of Redmond?
 
4 Old Articles About Microsoft/IBM SystemD
old but still relevant
Winning Streak
Free software prevalence
Links 19/05/2024: Conflicts, The Press, and Spotify Lawsuit
Links for the day
GNU/Linux+ChromeOS at Over 7% in New Zealand
It's also the home of several prominent GNU/Linux advocates
libera.chat (Libera Chat) Turns 3 Today
Freenode in the meantime continues to disintegrate
[Teaser] Freenode NDA Expires in a Few Weeks (What Really Happened 3 Years Ago)
get ready
GNU/Linux is Already Mainstream, But Microsoft is Still Trying to Sabotage That With Illegal Activities and Malicious Campaigns of Lies
To help GNU/Linux grow we'll need to tackle tough issues and recognise Microsoft is a vicious obstacle
Slovenia's Adoption of GNU/Linux in 2024
Whatever the factor/s may be, if these figures are true, then it's something to keep an eye on in the future
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 18, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, May 18, 2024
Links 19/05/2024: Profectus Beta 1.2
Links for the day
Site Archives (Not WordPress)
We've finally finished the work
[Meme] The EPO Delusion
on New Ways of Working
EPO Representatives Outline Latest Attacks on Staff
Not much has happened recently in terms of industrial action
Links 18/05/2024: Revisiting the Harms of Patent Trolls, Google Tries to Bypass (or Plagiarise) Sites Under the Guise of "AI"
Links for the day
Links 18/05/2024: BASIC Story, Site Feeds, and New in Geminispace
Links for the day
Justice for Victims of Online Abuse
The claims asserted or pushed forth by the harasser are categorically denied
[Meme] Senior Software Engineer for Windows
This is becoming like another Novell
Links 18/05/2024: Deterioration of the Net, North Korean IT Workers in the US
Links for the day
Windows in Lebanon: Down to 12%?
latest from statCounter
[Video] 'Late Stage Capitalism': Microsoft as an Elaborate Ponzi Scheme (Faking 'Demand' While Portraying the Fraud as an Act of Generosity and Demanding Bailouts)
Being able to express or explain the facts isn't easy because of the buzzwords
Links 18/05/2024: Caledonia Emergency Powers, "UK Prosecutor's Office Went Too Far in the Assange Case"
Links for the day
Microsoft ("a Dying Megacorporation that Does Not Create") and IBM: An Era of Dying Giants With Leadership Deficits and Corporate Bailouts (Subsidies From Taxpayers)
Microsoft seems to be resorting to lots of bribes and chasing of bailouts (i.e. money from taxpayers worldwide)
US Patent and Trademark Office Sends Out a Warning to People Who Do Not Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats
They're punishing people who wish to use open formats
Links 18/05/2024: Fury in Microsoft Over Studio Shutdowns, More Gaming Layoffs
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 17, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, May 17, 2024
Links 18/05/2024: KOReader, Benben v0.5.0 Progress Update, and More
Links for the day
[Meme] UEFI 'Secure' Boot Boiling Frog
UEFI 'Secure' Boot: You can just ignore it. You can just turn it off. You can hack on it as a workaround. Just use Windows dammit!
The Market Wants to Delete Windows and Install GNU/Linux, UEFI 'Secure' Boot Must Go!
To be very clear, this has nothing to do with security and those who insist that it is have absolutely no credentials
In the United States Of America the Estimated Share of Google Search Grew After Microsoft's Chatbot Hype (Which Coincided With Mass Layoffs at Bing)
Microsoft's chatbot hype started in late 2022
Techrights Will Categorically Object to Any Attempts to Deny Its Right to Publish Informative, Factual Material
we'll continue to publish about 20 pages per day while challenging censorship attempts
Links 17/05/2024: Microsoft Masks Layoffs With Return-to-office (RTO) Mandates, More YouTube Censorship
Links for the day
YouTube Progresses to the Next Level
YouTube is a ticking time bomb
Journalists and Human Rights Groups Back Julian Assange Ahead of Monday's Likely Very Final Decision
From the past 24 hours...
[Meme] George Washington and the Bill of Rights
Centuries have passed since the days of George Washington, but the principles are still the same
Daniel Pocock: "I've Gone to Some Lengths to Demonstrate How Corporate Bad Actors Have Used Amateur-hour Codes of Conduct to Push Volunteers Into Modern Slavery"
"As David explains, the Codes of Conduct should work the other way around to regulate the poor behavior of corporations who have been far too close to the Debian Suicide Cluster."
Video of Richard Stallman's Talk From Four Weeks Ago
2-hour video of Richard Stallman speaking less than a month ago
statCounter Says Twitter/X Share in Russia Fell From 23% to 2.3% in 3 Years
it seems like YouTube gained a lot
Journalist Who Won Awards for His Coverage of the Julian Assange Ordeals Excluded and Denied Access to Final Hearing
One can speculate about the true reason/s
Richard Stallman's Talk, Scheduled for Two Days Ago, Was Not Canceled But Really Delayed
American in Paris
3 More Weeks for Daniel Pocock's Campaign to Win a Seat in European Parliament Elections
Friday 3 weeks from now is polling day
Microsoft Should Have Been Fined and Sanctioned Over UEFI 'Lockout' (Locking GNU/Linux Out of New PCs)
Why did that not happen?
Gemini Links 16/05/2024: Microsoft Masks Layoffs With Return-to-office (RTO) Mandates, Cash Issues
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 16, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, May 16, 2024
Ex-Red Hat CEO Paul Cormier Did Not Retire, He Just Left IBM/Red Hat a Month Ago (Ahead of Layoff Speculations)
Rather than retire he took a similar position at another company
Linux.com Made Its First 'Article' in Over and Month, It Was 10 Words in Total, and It's Not About Linux
play some 'webapp' and maybe get some digital 'certificate' for a meme like 'clown computing'