I went to Al’s Plaice today for my semi-regular, nostalgic, food-fest.
I took the January edition of Wired magazine with me to read as I ate.
On page 046 is a disturbing article about how 20% of the human genome is now patented by biotech companies in the US.
The fact is, I have absolutely no understanding how they got the patents in the first place.
IANAL but surely they fail the basic requirements of Prior Art?
Surely I could sue them for breach of Prior Art, or the Patent Office for lack of due diligence in researching prior art, as the code that my genes carry pre-dates their patent application?
And if not me, then maybe my parents could sue them.
After all my genes were created by them. Not by some US biotech corporation.
To me this is Intellectual Property rights gone mad.
Am I in breech of the IP law by my very existence?
Do I have to pay a license fee for the genes I carry that are patented by these companies?
Such patents do not just bring up awkward legal questions like that. They also bring up awkward metaphysical ones.
Does a creator god own the rights to the genomes of all of its creations? [Or nature, if so desired]
If so, should the church, any church, sue the companies for claiming rights which are not theirs to claim?
I have no problem with companies using IP law in it’s proper setting to protect inventions, processes and other things they have personally created.
But now they can patent scientific discoveries?
How would science be different if Einstein had patented E=mc2, or Newton had patented gravity?
I feel that IP law needs an major overhaul and a good deal of common sense added to it.