Declaration_Against_cDNA_Patenting

Martti Tolvanen tolvanen at klaava.Helsinki.FI
Wed Feb 3 03:12:06 EST 1993


In <BASHFORD.93Feb1234155 at zippy.scripps.edu> bashford at scripps.edu (Don &) writes:

>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.

One has to remember that patenting does permit all non-commercial use of
the disclosed sequences or whatever.  Actually the patent system was set
up originally for faster advance of technical development so that the
inventors would be less inclined to hide their results.  In patenting
sequences/clones/antibodies this aspect is most conspicuosly seen in
that the inventors are compelled to deposit the clones in ATCC or some
other public depository for free accession.  How does that compare to
the not-so-common situation in "free" research that your
colleagues/competitors refuse or delay sending their material?

Which would you prefer as the alternative to patenting: Companies
dropping all sequencing projects or companies not sharing what they
found?  I'd argue that both options would slow down the accumulation of
human scientific heritage.


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

>bashford at scripps.edu

-- 
Martti Tolvanen, Dept. Biochem., Univ. Helsinki, Finland
tolvanen at cc.helsinki.fi



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