Declaration_Against_cDNA_Patenting

Don & bashford at scripps.edu
Tue Feb 2 02:43:08 EST 1993


I'll probably sign, but I must say that I am disappointed by the weakness
of this declaration.  It doesn't even mention patents directly, only giving
the vague reference to "the dangers of monopolization."  Some will argue
that patenting of cDNA does not raise any danger of monopolization so long
as the patent holder sells to more than one producer.

I'd rather see a declaration that since cDNA data is part of "our
human scientific heritage" it cannot be made into the any form of
"intellectual property," such as patent right held by any individual
or institution but should available to all people withount restraints
or preconditions.

Going farther, I would argue the same for all types of naturally
occurring nucleic acid and protein sequences and their
three-dimensional structures.

Going even farther, I would argue the same for the source code of
computer programs whose output is considered significant enough to be
the substance of a serious scientific publication.  This is on the
grounds that the source code constitutes a description of one's
methods and should therefore be open to inspection by anyone.

Donald Bashford
Assistant Member
Department of Molecular Biology
Research Institute of Scripps Clinic
La Jolla, California, USA

bashford at scripps.edu



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