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Australian Federal Court Rules For Patent Over Breast Cancer Gene

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the I-own-you dept.

Australia 160

Bulldust writes "The Federal Court in Australia has ruled in favor of U.S. biotechnology company Myriad Genetics, enabling them to continue to hold the patent over the so-called breast cancer gene BRCA1. The same patent is also being reconsidered by the U.S. Supreme Court in the current session. From the article: 'Federal court Justice John Nicholas has ruled that a private company can continue to hold a patent over the so-called breast cancer gene BRCA1, in a decision that has devastated cancer victims.The decision is the first in Australia to rule on whether isolated genes can be patented, and will set a precedent in favor of commercial ownership of genetic material.'"

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fucking great? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908151)

what's the problem? instead of the research staying a trade secret, it's monopolised for 20 years and then in the public domain?

this is devastating for cancer victims?

sheesh.

Re:fucking great? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908209)

instead of the research staying a trade secret

False dichotomy.

it's monopolised for 20 years

20 years of unnecessary deaths so capitalism can have its way.

and then in the public domain

Except that it will likely trigger further monopolised research which receives other protections or is kept secret.

this is devastating for cancer victims?

Yes. Greed kills people.

Any society organised on competition instead of cooperation, where a man's ultimate goal is to please himself rather than to lift up the world, will result in a lot of death. An extreme will always be harmful. Only a careful balance of individual vs group demands, as in the social democracy practised in Europe up to the early '80s, produces progress.

Re:fucking great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908737)

this is devastating for cancer victims?

Yes. Greed kills people.

Any society organised on competition instead of cooperation, where a man's ultimate goal is to please himself rather than to lift up the world, will result in a lot of death. An extreme will always be harmful. Only a careful balance of individual vs group demands, as in the social democracy practised in Europe up to the early '80s, produces progress.

Yes, I agree 100% with you. Greed kills people.

So does overpopulation, and this isn't the "early '80s" anymore when it comes to dealing with the challenges of finding a "careful balance" between our natural resources and man. It's gotten much worse. An how ironic you bring up an era that created many of those challenges.

Death is part of the overall design in government. As our world population grows, you will find that concept becoming evident in policy every single day.

Re:fucking great? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908847)

jam that hammer and sickle up your ass.

Re:fucking great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908869)

Without competition, there wouldn't even be a society. Or people. Competition predates homo sapiens by a billion years. So no, I'm not sure you can convince me that competition is bad.

Re:fucking great? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908877)

Don't contribute this crap to capitalism. This is a case of a company influencing the state (to use its force) to get a monopoly because they don't want to compete in the marketplace.

Greedy no-good companies abusing a broken patent system. At least in EU we don't have software patents nor can you patent a procedure.

Australia, Japan and the USA is the worse when it comes to IP.

Cheers,
Jonas

Re:fucking great? (-1, Troll)

catmistake (814204) | about 2 years ago | (#42908939)

Yes. Greed kills people.

Awesome. Just submitted my patent on death. When awarded, I'm setting up shop in East Texas, and I'm going after all infringers.

Re:fucking great? (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 2 years ago | (#42909309)

congratulations. Sue them till they drop dead, then sue them again for patent infringement.

Re:fucking great? (5, Interesting)

KiloByte (825081) | about 2 years ago | (#42908969)

it's monopolised for 20 years

20 years of unnecessary deaths so capitalism can have its way.

You mean "mercantilism". Capitalism by itself doesn't really care about free vs controlled market, but you can have both free market capitalism and that where only large accumulation of capital matters (great landlords in the past, big corporations nowadays). Note that mercantilism is not directly an opposition of free market, just mostly so -- unlike communism, it allows limited economic freedoms outside of big interests that the government chooses to support.

Our governments do so not even out of malice, mostly due to corruption. Yet the effects are clear: war on culture (copyright), war on innovation (patents), with effects that include 20 years of unnecessary deaths in this very article.

Re:fucking great? (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about 2 years ago | (#42910175)

free market

Ex aequo with "capitalism" this is the shortest joke about economy.

Re:fucking great? (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 2 years ago | (#42909967)

One way patenting genes differs from patenting some kind of mechanism, is that there's almost always another way to accomplish what that mechanism does. I've heard a number of engineers make statements to the effect that the most important thing about an invention is that what it does is possible. So while a monopoly on a mechanism design is valuable, it does not stop all competition in that field of endeavor.

A monopoly on a fact about nature isn't like that. If somebody claimed a patent on gravity, there are no alternatives. If someone patents a gene's involvement in a certain disease, there is no substitute for that fact to be discovered.

Monopolizing genetic treatment and diagnosis of breast cancer by patenting BRCA1 is like monopolizing all flying and lifting machines by patenting gravity.

Re:fucking great? (5, Insightful)

gnoshi (314933) | about 2 years ago | (#42908221)

A couple of points:
1. The research wasn't completely privately conducted (universities, and other government-funded organisations were involved), so I think there is probably some reasonable expectation that the community will benefit as a result.
2. I don't think it is acceptable for the manufacturer of the test to be able to set whatever price it chooses, even if that involves mandated licensing. That isn't to say that the business should not be able to make a respectable profit - after all, there was some risk involved on their part. However, because of the implications of the government-granted monopoly I think it is fair to have some constraints on that monopoly even within the 20 years.
3. The real issue is actually the patenting of the gene itself. Patenting of the test is fine: it is an invention, and so a monopoly can be granted on that. However, the same can't be said of the genes.

Re:fucking great? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908325)

This is what I've never understood with capitalism: thanks to limited liability, businessmen make far lower risks than the average worker, who has no protection from responsibility, yet businessmen seem entitled to far greater rewards.

When will we abolish the LLC? When will it actually become possible for businessmen to go bankrupt again?

Re:fucking great? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908923)

Today the state grants LLC, which I'm against. I see no problem limiting your liabilities as a company when selling products or services as long as it's part of the deal (contract law) where both parties agree. For limited liability you're bound to get cheaper products compared to companies without them.

Cheers,
Jonas

Re:fucking great? (1, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 2 years ago | (#42910149)

You can still go bankrupt, even with an LLC. What won't happen is that some ditz who bought a hot beverage and spilled it in there lap and got burned because they couldn't be bothered to hold it while driving their car and texting can't bankrupt both the business and you personally, taking all your possessions in a lawsuit.

Re:fucking great? (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 2 years ago | (#42910179)

their.... muscle memory typo. sigh...

Re:fucking great? (5, Informative)

cryptolemur (1247988) | about 2 years ago | (#42908327)

1. The research wasn't completely privately conducted (universities, and other government-funded organisations were involved), so I think there is probably some reasonable expectation that the community will benefit as a result.

I believe there was practically no private research, since Myriad was founded after the gene was already located in chromosome 17 and it was only a matter of time for the teams in different universities to pinpoint the location and find out the sequence. Furthermore, the company was founded by some of the university researchers that took part (well, their labs took part, at least) in the search for the gene.
Myriad was funded to patent the gene, to put it plain and simple. And by holding a patent not just to their gene test, but any BRCA1 sequence test, they have prevented anybody else for figuring out *why* mutations in BRCA1 may cause breast cancer.

Re:fucking great? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908373)

I believe there was practically no private research... the company was founded by some of the university researchers that took part

So much uni research ends up like this, from gene patents to Google itself, that it's almost immoral to engage in certain sorts of research at particular universities.

Re:fucking great? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#42909949)

Maybe preventing anyone else from figuring out why mutations in BRCA1 may cause breast cancer was the whole point of granting the patent? But then maybe I'm just paranoid.

Re:fucking great? (2)

sigxcpu (456479) | about 2 years ago | (#42908367)

3. The real issue is actually the patenting of the gene itself. Patenting of the test is fine: it is an invention, and so a monopoly can be granted on that. However, the same can't be said of the genes.

can you get sued for carrying or expressing the gene without a license?

Re:fucking great? (1)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#42908485)

What about a few thousands of years of prior art?

Re:fucking great? (1, Troll)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 2 years ago | (#42908665)

That did not prevent the patent to be upheld by court. So your point is?

Re:fucking great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908825)

That you gotta incinerate yourself to prevent illegal copying.

Re:fucking great? (5, Interesting)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#42908859)

How does the patent office (and the judge) have the audacity to grant and uphold something like that? Last time I checked, patents were for "inventions" and not for "discoveries".

Re:fucking great? (3, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | about 2 years ago | (#42909643)

Patents are for methods. Fighting cancer by affecting this gene's expression is a method. My understanding is that that's why it's patentable under current law. If you discovered that this gene also coded for lollipops, using it to manufacture lollipops would be separately patentable by my understanding.

The goals of patents are twofold: 1. Allow one to recoup investment in research, and 2. Give an incentive to fully share information instead of keeping it as trade secrets. One might argue that in this case it did neither (since the research was separately funded and the scientific publication system already incentivized sharing), but any change in the law to exclude this case should still try to protect those two principles, IMHO.

Re:fucking great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908479)

your a communist

(roman_mir, posting blocked AGAIN)

Re:fucking great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908627)

Is this the roman_mir I know and laugh at, suggesting that communists save lives while capitalists kill?

Re:fucking great? (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about 2 years ago | (#42910353)

suggesting that communists save lives while capitalists kill?

You require professional help, preferably in isolation, if you think opposite. Hint: except for science, free software movement, and groups described here [ted.com] there wasn't communism on Earth so far.

Re:fucking great? (2)

balsy2001 (941953) | about 2 years ago | (#42908685)

I am not in favor of patents on genes. I think it is unjustified and immoral. I think methods of detection of certain types of genes may be warranted if the test method is something new that isn't already in use for other genes. It must be more than "use of gene detection method X to find gene BRCA1," where X is a established method. Even if the test is novel, I think there should be some kind of equivalent to FRAND licensing that is required to obtain the patent on the test. Seems to me that the human genome is a "standard essential" to life.

Re:fucking great? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908935)

What about prior art, goddamnit. These genes OBVIOSLY existed before they were "invented" by the medical companies.

Re:fucking great? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#42909969)

I've got a patent on obvious and you're in violation. Cease and desist immediately or I'll send my lawyers off to East Texas and sue your ass.

Re:fucking great? (3)

Jawnn (445279) | about 2 years ago | (#42909647)

A couple of points: 1. The research wasn't completely privately conducted (universities, and other government-funded organisations were involved), so I think there is probably some reasonable expectation that the community will benefit as a result.

That's not how we do things here, you, you... agitator. We socialize the expense and privatize the profit, and call it "free market". And we will thank you to not confuse our fanboys here who think that they are oh-so uber cool because the read Rand once. The sheep take what we give them and we give them what makes money for us, and we pay a lot of money to "the government" to make sure that it stays that way. So stop rocking the damned boat.

Re:fucking great? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908427)

Perhaps you can live with yourself for murdering 12% [breastcancer.org] of the population every year due to your purchased federal justice, but that doesn't make you right, only a selfish asshole that no one likes.

Discoveries are already instantly in the public domain since there is nothing to build and nothing has been invented.
Why should anyone get a 20 year monopoly for doing literally jack shit all but kill people?

if (genom.substr(x) == 'gtca') { throw 'cancer'; } (1)

mnt (1796310) | about 2 years ago | (#42908157)

So the patent constitutes of the position of the sequence and the information at that position? Another thing why i think the patent system is broken.

Re:if (genom.substr(x) == 'gtca') { throw 'cancer' (2)

slartibartfastatp (613727) | about 2 years ago | (#42908777)

The patent is about the method of diagnosis of a certain genetic condition using the mentioned gene. Couldn't find the reference yet, only Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] .

The World's gone mad! (5, Insightful)

Smivs (1197859) | about 2 years ago | (#42908197)

This is another example of where the patenting system (around the World it seems) has just gone completely stupid. A gene is a naturally occuring entity and should not be patentable. Patents are there to give right of ownership of a novel idea, concept or mechanism, not things that already exist in nature. Have I got to patent myself now to stop anybody else from 'owning' me?

Re:The World's gone mad! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908421)

This is another example of where the patenting system (around the World it seems) has just gone completely stupid. A gene is a naturally occuring entity and should not be patentable. Patents are there to give right of ownership of a novel idea, concept or mechanism, not things that already exist in nature. Have I got to patent myself now to stop anybody else from 'owning' me?

I think that cancer patients should be given the legal right to REFUSE to have these patented genes in their bodies.

Please make it mandatory to rid patients of such genes in a timely and safely manner, at the patent holders expense.

I think that's fair.

Re:The World's gone mad! (2)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 2 years ago | (#42910211)

Better yet - cancer patients should sue Myriad for "creating" such a flawed gene and attempting to profit off of it.

Re:The World's gone mad! (3, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#42908425)

A gene is a naturally occuring entity and should not be patentable. Patents are there to give right of ownership of a novel idea, concept or mechanism, not things that already exist in nature.

You know, the explanation here may be simpler than it looks. A bribed or blackmailed judge? From TFA:

Justice Nicholas also awarded costs against the applicants.

He awarded costs to a private company that patented the gene against the woman who actually has (had) cancer?

Have I got to patent myself now to stop anybody else from 'owning' me?

Don't worry -- no one is going to 'own' you. But they will 'license' you and possibly 'terminate' you by extracting the body parts that have the gene when you can't pay the license fee. Better start saving now...

Re:The World's gone mad! (1)

tsa (15680) | about 2 years ago | (#42908675)

Have I got to patent myself now to stop anybody else from 'owning' me?

I'm not sure about patenting yourself, but of course you can claim intellectual property ownership on yourself becouse you grew and made the shape you have all by yourself.

But maybe the patent owner then claims that you copied a gene that they have patent on billions of times and thus you have to pay them trillions of dollars.

Re:The World's gone mad! (1)

Smivs (1197859) | about 2 years ago | (#42908959)

you grew and made the shape you have all by yourself.

Oh, crap, you mean that's my fault!

Re:The World's gone mad! (1)

balsy2001 (941953) | about 2 years ago | (#42908719)

I call dibs on the patent for using expandable tissue in the thorax, driven by a remotely controlled diaphragm, to re-oxygenate blood and sustain life. While I am at it I will patent atmospheric gases within a specific range of concentrations on the surface of rocks orbiting around stars. Complete BS.

Re:The World's gone mad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42909067)

I'm going to get a patent on rain and sunshine! Maybe air too! Unless that's too broad, and I'll just go with oxygen. But the patent office doesn't seem to have much problem with broad patents any more than just plain stupid stuff, so I don't think it will be a problem.

Re:The World's gone mad! (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 2 years ago | (#42910197)

Next up - I'm patenting gravel. No concrete can be made without paying me.

Perhaps someone can help me out here (4, Interesting)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 2 years ago | (#42908223)

Patents give an exclusive monopoly on the patented material. What exactly does a patent on a human genetic sequence give you? Does this mean that anyone with that sequence in their genome has violated the patent?

Perhaps its my ignorance of genetic medicine, but the only way I can see this 'invention' being useful is in developing a test for predisposition to breast cancer. Does this mean no-one else is allowed to test for that genetic sequence?

Re:Perhaps someone can help me out here (5, Insightful)

rastos1 (601318) | about 2 years ago | (#42908429)

I say: the company should be held liable for any damages caused by occurrence of the gene. Anywhere. That should serve them right.

Re:Perhaps someone can help me out here (1)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#42908497)

A nice novel approach, but they'll probably reply that you are holding it wrong. That and "where's your license?"

Re:Perhaps someone can help me out here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908811)

And i would reply with 'i had it before you got your patent'... prior art bitch!

Re:Perhaps someone can help me out here (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#42908445)

You have it right. The gene is naturally occuring, but the patent prevents any other company 'using' the gene in an artificial way. That includes interpreting mutations in BRCA1 as part of a test, or selecting a treatment based upon the results of that test.

Re:Perhaps someone can help me out here (1)

Phrogman (80473) | about 2 years ago | (#42910343)

So they have found a gene that is related to or indicative of Breast Cancer, and then by patenting it (a fucking ridiculous concept) they can then prevent anyone who doesn't pay them from using it to cure cancer?

These people - the entire fucking company - should be lined up against the wall and shot - or at least put in prison for life without parole, given the number of people who might die from cancer that *might* have been cured while they sat on this patent.

This is obscene, utterly obscene. No one should be able to restrict medical research in this way for the sake of personal gain.

Re:Perhaps someone can help me out here (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 2 years ago | (#42909327)

"Does this mean that anyone with that sequence in their genome has violated the patent?"

Yep. It's a conspiracy to allow Myriad Genetics to sue every breast cancer patient for infringing on their IP. Cancer patients will most likely settle out of court and have to pay Myriad a license fee in order for them to continue to have cancer. Otherwise they will have to have it removed.

Maybe this will evolve into a new form of cancer treatment, simply sue the cancer out of them!

He is out of order (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908233)

If you read the ruling this Justice is out of line and is not upholding the law, but creating it.

In response to an argument that this is a discovery and not an invention he actually states that if society does not provide financial incentive, companies wont be incentivised to perform genome research.

So basically he has extended the concept of a patent to include discoveries in addition to inventions because he has a personal belief that because it takes lots of money to discover a particular gene, the discoverer should therefore have a monopoly on it.

It is not his role to extend or create laws, it is his role to enforce the law as written, and no law has been passed stating that we as a nation consider a discovery worthy of a patent.

Mod parent up (0)

gottabeme (590848) | about 2 years ago | (#42908243)

+1 Insightful, Informative

Re:He is out of order (1, Insightful)

buybuydandavis (644487) | about 2 years ago | (#42908361)

Gotta love them "living constitutions." No? You don't love them. Me neither.

And the bad news is, we're outnumbered those who do.

Those in power love them, because it removes a check on their power. And those who wish to be slaves, and want their neighbors to be slaves as well, love them too.

More of them than us.

Re:He is out of order (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908415)

When Bill Clinton and Tony Blair co-presented the revelation that human kind had sequenced the human genome they both stated that we have a moral and ethical obligation to ensure that the material remains open:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwo8KxKFDO4 @15:00 is a good starting point on the ethical issues

Re:He is out of order (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#42908589)

It's called "judicial activism". Look it up. It has been used extensively in the past 40 years - and you're just now discovering this concept? You live in a cave or something?

Re:He is out of order (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908697)

I am the OP.

I think you are confusing judicial activism with ruling from the bench.

Judicial activism is a loose term which means that the judge applies their own beliefs in a ruling, which may apply here. In reality it means that the person who accuses a judge of activism disagrees with the ruling :)

Ruling from the bench is where a judge effectively creates law in their ruling, which is the case here. Before, discoveries were not patentable, now, apparently they are. And in no house of parliament has such a law been passed. Australian democracy in action.

Re:He is out of order (1)

Sique (173459) | about 2 years ago | (#42908965)

Judicial Activism is as old as courts are. You always had judges who were quite ingenious when it came to interpreting the current law.

Re:He is out of order (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 2 years ago | (#42908647)

Are you sure? I don't see the patent online, but it certainly would appear that long before the patent ended up in this courtroom the patent was actually granted in the first place, and while I'm unfamiliar with Australian law, it does appear to be in line with similar patent laws in the EU and US (so I'd assume a high likelihood that Australian law has also been modified to recognize gene patents.)

Nor is the judge making a comment about financial incentives evidence of anything either. It's not unusual for judges to explain the purported purpose of a law they're upholding - though more common in criminal cases involving somewhat less controversial laws.

I don't see any evidence here that the judge has done anything outside of what the Australian legislature has explicitly demanded. Bad laws can and are frequently passed. It seems to be the anger should be focused on a government that appears to have kowtowed to biotech industry interests, both in passing bad patent laws, and in granting this company such a patent.

Re:He is out of order (1)

White Flame (1074973) | about 2 years ago | (#42908819)

Not to mention that according to other posts on this page, the research was done by PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES, not the "companies" the judge claims to want to protect.

I've filed (1)

Wizardess (888790) | about 2 years ago | (#42908235)

I am patenting C2H6O. Sorry guys. You'll have to pay me big time!

{O,o}

Re:I've filed (1)

azalin (67640) | about 2 years ago | (#42908523)

I claim prior art. There is a report of a guy in the middle east who used this substance as an alternative to blood consumption two thousand years ago. The process is still performed regularly.

That's it! (3, Funny)

alexhs (877055) | about 2 years ago | (#42908245)

That's it! I'm patenting oxidane. That's better than Brawndo anyway.

violence (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908271)

kill that judge and the CEO of the company who holds the patent. Keep killing these faggots.

Re:violence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908299)

indeed, just keep killing people, eventually they will see reason or be gone from this planet and we can start over.

Do women who get breast cancer get to sue? (5, Insightful)

buybuydandavis (644487) | about 2 years ago | (#42908315)

If the company owns our genes, shouldn't they be held responsible then they go wrong?

Re:Do women who get breast cancer get to sue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908611)

Should a woman become aware that she is a cancer patient and inflicted with this kind of breast cancer ... Yes, sue the patent holder for "infecting" you with their patented genes. That would be a nice deterrent for patenting a disease or infliction.

But seriously, What is the benefit of patenting a gene like this ?
Because they invested money and time ?

Great let Isaac Newton patent gravity because he discovered it. Everybody profiting from gravity should pay the Newton family x-amount. As long as you are not floating into space you have to pay !

Re:Do women who get breast cancer get to sue? (2)

cbope (130292) | about 2 years ago | (#42908729)

Should a woman become aware that she is a cancer patient and inflicted with this kind of breast cancer ... Yes, sue the patent holder for "infecting" you with their patented genes.

A similar business case seems to work very well for Monsanto.

Re:Do women who get breast cancer get to sue? (2)

alexhs (877055) | about 2 years ago | (#42909801)

That's not how patents work.
No, what really happens is that the we will sue improperly licensed people getting breast cancer.
See, if you intend to get breast cancer some day, you better get a proper licence right now.
--
A Myriad Genetics representative

patent infringers! (1)

jasontheking (124650) | about 2 years ago | (#42908323)

so now cancer sufferers are willfuly producing cancer genes, in violation of patent law.

stop it! or fines/imprisonment may result.

Re:patent infringers! (1)

meimeiriver (1083377) | about 2 years ago | (#42908755)

"so now cancer sufferers are willfuly producing cancer genes, in violation of patent law."

You gotta wonder: if you get caught producing cancer genes and/or cells (= derivative works?) without a license, does that also mean the companies and their 'correctional facilities' will seek to cure your cancer?

Re:patent infringers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908831)

You gotta wonder: if you get caught producing cancer genes and/or cells (= derivative works?) without a license, does that also mean the companies and their 'correctional facilities' will seek to cure your cancer?

Nope, they'll just find a legal reason to kill you instead. It's cheaper that way, and it just a different means to the same end.

Also, captcha was "crucify." Somewhat fitting...

Re:patent infringers! (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 2 years ago | (#42910183)

Good job. You have successfully misunderstood a story that was in itself a misunderstanding.

Up next: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908351)

Tribe of amazons patents Y chromosome and demands immediate seizure and destruction of all infringing articles worldwide.

Greedy Life-Robbing Scum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908379)

Those that are associated with turning the genetic genome into a proprietary standard are motivated by nothing more than profit, they're responsible for facilitating the continued suffering of human kind. They should expect and slow and painful death just like the deaths they'll be inflicting on millions of other people. The open-source and bio-hacker community should find common-ground on this issue and do everything humanly possible to avert such a scenario, for these parasites will drain the little humanity that's left within us if we let them patent our own software. Everything should be secondary to this issue, this is what we're made of, by controlling the human source code, you effectively control the human population, and why even play this shitty game we call "real life" if we're not even in control?

The Courts are on the side of the rich (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908437)

Die little people, die! MUAHAHHAHAHAHAHH! Seriously, fuck the courts. Fuck them.

Just wondering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908453)

I have always wondered how can they patent gene? After all they only stubled on something nature had develop. Maybe i should patent oxygen and star demanding licensing fees for everyone that breeds air ;)

Or did they develop new type of breast cancer gene newer seen before anywhere? And how do theyknow it works, expecting volantier test subjects to be hard ro find...

Re:Just wondering (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 2 years ago | (#42908679)

The idea is on a shaky ground. It's basically a corporate pharma interest (huge lobby) vs public interest.

Corporate pharma argues that to discover the exact gene, they need significant research, just like with medicine. This is true, though research requires much less then new medicine producing research. They also argue that it's an invention rather then discovery for the same reason why discovering certain molecules leads to new medicines. Molecules that existed in nature for ages, that can be transformed into some form of treatment therefore is patentable.

The obvious counter arguments are plentiful, but they lack the powerful lobby behind them, and current trend is "weak government representing people, strong corporate lobby representing potential profits". Results can be seen in the ruling on top of the page.

Ownership (1)

Misagon (1135) | about 2 years ago | (#42908487)

There is only one person who owns my genes: me.

Re:Ownership (1)

catmistake (814204) | about 2 years ago | (#42909023)

There is only one person who owns my genes: me.

Hmm... weird... another dualist. Do you own your body? Then, you can sell or give your body away... and let's say you do... what is left? Where are YOU?

I look at it another way. I am my body, my body is me, thus, my genes are me as well.

Re:Ownership (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42909277)

you can sell body parts and not die, you know

Should be easy to prove prior art... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908601)

Just go read the old code in the repositories. I'm not kidding. Genes belong to our species.

Sue the patent holder for infecting you ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908625)

So, your parent can sue you for copying half of their genes ? :P

what's the going price for an Aussie judge? (1)

dltaylor (7510) | about 2 years ago | (#42908651)

American judges, at least in Texas, are dirt cheap.

Discoveries are not inventions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908661)

Patents exist to "protect" inventions. Whether or not that's still a valid aspiration is irrelevant here, as the subject matter of the patent was not an invention.

Somebody needs to teach the Federal Court the difference between discoveries (like this one) and inventions...

good, keep the WT gene, I'll patent the mutants... (1)

acidfast7 (551610) | about 2 years ago | (#42908705)

cause that's where the interest of BRCA1 lies ...

I'll be charitable (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 2 years ago | (#42908721)

I'll assume these 'judges' are mere idiots. The only other alternative would be bribe-takers. Karma now demands the Breast Cancer Fairy visit their families.

So if the Biotech company owns the gene... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42908879)

Can they then be sued for some kind of war crimes (biological warfare)?

There seem to be a large number of people already infected...

They own the gene? Fine, they're responsible (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about 2 years ago | (#42909025)

financially, morally, &c. for the care of _everyone_ who has the gene. Not just health care, feeding, housing, clothing, educating --- _everything_.

If they're not willing to step up to the plate and be financially responsible for their property, it's abandoned and no longer theirs.

William

Anachronism Judges Prehistoric Mutation "Novel" (1)

boomerangirl (2577507) | about 2 years ago | (#42909253)

Um... I'm new here, so that's it for now.

Just sue the company for the damage caused by "The (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42909315)

SInce BRCA is "owned" by the company, make them responsible for the damage/death it causes.

Prior Art? (1)

alphaminus (1809974) | about 2 years ago | (#42909345)

Umm, isn't the cancer itself prior art? Anyone who developed the BRCA1 mutation could claim to have created it previously.

ooops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42909445)

Looks like the federal court has lost it's hold on reality. This amounts to genetic slavery. Surely humans each own there own substance or am I miss reading history.

Explanation, please? (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#42909473)

This flies in the face of everything I understood about patents previously. Can someone in the know explain what's going on here?

It's time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42909543)

Wanna stop patenting genes and genetic material? Want to strike a blow at corporate greed?

Start shooting CEO's, judges and lawyers. :-)

The next logical step (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42909553)

Is to patent diseases and viruses as soon as they are discovered, so that you can be the sole "shop" working on the cure. We FOUND super aids, so it's not fair that our potential profits from curing this disease should go to anyone but us.

This ruling sets a president for that, and I think we will start seeing that within a few years.

Turn the Question Around - what do you propose? (1)

fygment (444210) | about 2 years ago | (#42909633)

A company has spent a fortune isolating a gene and identifying what the implications of mutations in that gene are.
That is a good and useful thing, right? We would like to encourage that.
Now then, how do we reward the company for their work?

You can't patent a gene... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42909677)

You can patent the process to isolate it only.

sue them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42909791)

Does it mean that people who get cancer can now sue the company and ask for damages ?

Does this remind anyone else (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42910297)

of Johnny Mnemonic? I say its time for Anonymous to do something legitimate.

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