Proponents of gene patenting argue that patents encourage innovation by increasing economic return on research investments. Others argue that patents restrict both biomedical research and application of research findings to health care. Finding the right balance has been a controversial issue debated in the genetics community, at the U.S. Patent Office, and in U.S. courts.
Outside of This Program
Gene patenting has received a great deal of press as a number of patient and professional organizations weigh in on the issue:
- Read the Council for Responsible Genetics summary of the scope and state of gene patenting in the U.S.
- Learn about the ACLU v. Myriad lawsuit over patenting of certain genes associated with predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer.
- Read position statements on intellectual property by:
- Read about one patient group's challenge of gene patenting
- Watch a video of comedian Steven Colbert weighing in on this issue