High Court says human genes can't be patented, partial win for Utah company

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  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 13, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    I don't know of anybody patenting a sneeze. But I remember a Utah company trying to patent the word processor (didn't work and Word Perfect went out of business).

    Have you ever worked for a living? Or tried to run a business or make a payroll?

    If you decide your business model is to just infringe on patented things and save the money of inventing the product because it's cheaper and easier to just scab other people's inventions and just pay the "Fraction of the profit" to the person you stole from... that would be great for you... but what about the company you scabbed off of? YOU can provide it cheaper (because you didn't invest in R&D and just pay a fraction to the actual inventor) while HE can't sell it (because he has to charge more to recoop his R&D investment.

    That just doesn't work.

    Your "Patent infringement should be OK if you don't profit" angle is loony. Who would buy anything from the inventor if they can just buy it from the non-profit guy who just scabbed the patent from it's inventor???

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    June 13, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    Patent law has become a joke with companies patenting every sneeze and suing the competitor every time he sneezes in a particular manner. I think patents should be allowed, but the damages for violating a patent should be limited to a fraction of the profit that you obtained and you should lose your patent if you are not making anything useful with it for too long. And you should not be able to get attorneys fees either to discourage predatory suits. If somebody uses a patented idea to make the world a better place and makes no profit from it he should be immune from a patent violation law suit.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    The patent system needs changing.

    Who invented the incandescent light bulb? Who should own it?

    Like DNA, none of the men we attribute invention rights to ACTUALLY invented the physics, mechanics, and principles involved. Coming up with a mechanic gives you no more claim that a man drawing a circle in the dirt and saying "I created and own THE CIRCLE". It is mine and you cannot copy it or make your own.

    I understand people want recognition or want revenue. Artists, Architects, Engineers and people of any field need to make money somehow. I'm not saying patents shouldn't exist. I am saying that making money shouldn't be at the cost of others being able to experiment and make progress.

    The world of invention grew at a much faster pace before this greedy practice became mainstream. In contrast, most of Benjamin Franklin's works were made public domain.

    We should be fostering progress, better light bulbs, better medical equipment, a better tomorrow for humanity. The current patent system only protects economics.

    Anyone can build, unless you created the physics and elements yourself, where is your claim? No one has claim over their creator.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 13, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    Sounds to me that they decided you can patent the test and the process of isolating the gene, but not the gene itself. It makes sense that you can't patent a natural gene.

    What concerns me is... why would a company like Myriad Genetics invest millions and billions into research if they can't recoup anything?

    Myriad Genetics needs to pay it's scientists, physicians, Lab people, IT people, secretarys, managers, janitors, HR people, rent office and lab space, etc, etc, etc... How are they going to pay the bills if they can't profit from their research?

    I know they want to help mankind, but they have to pay the bills to be able to do it.

  • Badger55 Nibley, Ut
    June 13, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    Shouldn't they be able to patent the process in which they isolate these genes. Essentially the process they spent millions in R&D to figure out. I agree that they shouldn't be able to patent a gene. Likewise you can't patent gold, but you can patent the process in which you collect it. Guess better safe than sorry.