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    Nuffield Foundation: The Ethics of Patenting DNA and Proteins
    Submitted by J.W. Bizzaro; posted on Thursday, September 07, 2000 (3 comments)


    ``Many companies and universities throughout the world are seeking to file patents on gene sequences and proteins. Questions remain, however, over the moral implications of protecting rights to property in this kind of way. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics is holding a series of Roundtable meetings to consider the ethical and legal issues raised by this form of patenting and the implications for healthcare. Research into DNA and proteins offers the possibility of many different kinds of developments in healthcare. New gene-based tests and drugs for a wide range of common diseases will be developed on the basis of knowledge about the human genome and the genomes of bacteria and viruses. What is the proper balance between public and private sectors in these developments? Will broad patents covering important disease genes such as the breast cancer genes restrict the development of affordable tests? What is the role of patent offices? Are they custodians of public good or servants of enterprise? Does the patent system actually encourage innovation in biomedical research? These questions will be considered by the members of the Roundtable group. They have backgrounds in moral philosophy, clinical genetics, genomics, patent law, pharmaceuticals and anthropology. The Roundtable meetings will produce a Discussion Paper towards the end of 2000 which will aim to help the Courts, patent offices and policy-makers to develop public policy and professional guidance and to promote public debate.''

    Press release:[...].html

    Reference by Genomics Today.

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    Bioinformatics Public Patent License
    Submitted by J.W. Bizzaro; posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2000
    Submitter It would be nice to have a generic license for biological information that has been patented. The license could permit any use of the information, providing the results also remain public. Sort of like a GPL for bioinformatics.
    GPL for Bioinformatics
    Submitted by J.W. Bizzaro; posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2000
    Submitter It would be good to see a patent license for biological information that permits the public use of the information providing the results are also made public. I would prefer NO patents, but this may ease the concern the patent holders have about their competitors "stealing" their information.
    Good Idea
    Submitted by J.W. Bizzaro; posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2000
    Submitter Antipatents are a good idea.
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