US Government Now Opposes Patents for Simply Reporting a Gene’s Structure – a Great Win
Wonderful news. Our government has seen the light, and now opposes patents for simply reporting the structure of genes. Bravo for the Obama Administration. Courtesy of the NYT, here is the link to Justice’s brief, filed Friday. The NYT article is here, by Andrew Pollack.
As I’ve argued before in this post, patents for reporting gene structures are improper and need to be eliminated because they are simply a report of facts. So, in my view, this policy decision is great news for cancer patients who need science to move faster. Clearing out patents inevitably will speed up genomic research. On the other hand, some will wring their hands, but wrongly. Scientists and businesses with a real long term interest in a science subject can apply and leverage their knowledge over years because they are experts. The news, however, is not good for raw capitalists who simply want to buy an asset (a patent), and milk it for multiples of earnings. That’s not a real loss. That’s the kind of short-term thinking that produced CDOs and other poor financial products.