Controversy Mounts Over Gene Patenting Policy

Scientists in industry and academia foresee trouble as NIH persists in claiming ownership over partial sequences Date: April 27, 1992 The reviews from the scientific community remain mostly negative over the National Institutes of Health's patent application for a total of 2,722 partial human gene sequences. Academic researchers, who say they are mostly unaffected by the patenting process, nevertheless are appalled; and while some in the commercial sector of the biotech community now believe

Scott Veggeberg
Apr 26, 1992

Scientists in industry and academia foresee trouble as NIH persists in claiming ownership over partial sequences
Date: April 27, 1992

The reviews from the scientific community remain mostly negative over the National Institutes of Health's patent application for a total of 2,722 partial human gene sequences.

Academic researchers, who say they are mostly unaffected by the patenting process, nevertheless are appalled; and while some in the commercial sector of the biotech community now believe that the filings were necessary to protect United States business interests, others say they could also impair a company's competitive advantage.

The British government's Medical Research Council (MRC), which earlier condemned the NIH patent filings, still says the patents on the partial sequences, and in effect all products that might be produced from such genetic infor- mation, could ruin international collaborations. But MRC will soon be filing its own patent applications for 1,000 partial sequences.

Meanwhile,...

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