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View Diary: Genome Redacted? (48 comments)

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  •  No, not necessarily (0+ / 0-)

    the first use that you, as a person (I assume) would likely come up with would be to eat the new species . . . .

    Based on the history of humankind of eating pretty much anything, that is a completely obvious use of the new species and would not be patentable.

    •  I don't think that you know anything about this. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens
    •  let's take an example from the real world. (5+ / 0-)

      This kid in Canada (14 I think) does a science fair experiment where he discovers a microorganism capible of eating plastic.

      Why should he be able to obtain a patent on that microorganism when it exists in nature?  The kid didn't change the organism to enable it to eat plastic, he just discovered that it does.  I can understand patenting a specific process that uses that micro oranism to break down plastic, but you can't patent the organism ITSELF.  

      Surely.

      Right?

      You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

      by DawnG on Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 03:48:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's pretty much exactly right (0+ / 0-)

        the kid can patent the use of the microorganism for eating plastic . .. . and like you say, not the bug itself.

        That's the same situation with patenting genes - for example the BRCA gene the ACLU is riled up about - the gene itself is not patented in any usual sense of the word, what is patented is the use of the gene in a medical diagnostic assay.

        If you are able to isolate this very same gene from your body and show that it can power race cars - for example - that's a completely different application and you almost certainly could patent that notwithstanding the previous patent wrt cancer detection.

        •  the kid can patent... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roadbed Guy, OHdog, Larsstephens

          ...a specific process of using the mircoorganism, but surely can't patent all "plastic eating" uses for it.

          That'd be like patenting a goat for general use in weed control.  Goats eat weeds.  It's what they do in nature. Why is it you can patent what an organism naturally does?

          it doesn't make sense to me.

          You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

          by DawnG on Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 03:59:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I suspect that if you were the first (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mike S

            person to discover that a goat ate weeds, you might be able to patent that and raise herds of goats to compete with your local gasoline powered lawn control experts.

            Of course, 17 years later, your patent would expire and everyone's goats could start eating weeds . . .

            In any event, this use for a goat is completely well known and obvious so it can not be patented.

            OTOH, if you wished to use a goat for pharming, that would be quite patentable I would think

        •  LOL! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roadbed Guy, Larsstephens

          Is she still Canadian?  I thought she moved to Vegas.

          You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

          by DawnG on Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 04:13:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes she did move to Vegas (0+ / 0-)

            IMHO, one of Homeland Security's biggest failings btw.  But it's fairly undisputed that she came from Canada, the French part of it on top of everything . . . . (OK, the last part will get me in trouble since I've learned from bitter experience that Canada-bashing remains quite acceptable but French-bashing is not).

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