Patent on 16S rDNA sequence?

Dr. Duncan Clark duncan at
Wed Nov 19 10:15:37 EST 1997

In article <3472DE74.6AB3 at>, Peter Kuhnert
<kuhnert at> writes
>Now and then one hears rumors that a company is going to get a patent
>on the complete 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequence of any bacterium. 

I assume you mean a specific organism.

>simply cant imagine how they could obtain a patent for a sequence that
>could obviously been used for diagnostic and a lot of other

That's the whole point. You don't patent something of no value! If their
organism is unique why shouldn't they take out a patent? Why should the
fact that it is the 16s rRNA gene sequence they wish to patent rather
than say a restriction enzyme gene sequence be wrong (in legal not moral

>Moreover, since this gene sequences are already known for
>quite some time. Does anybody know more of it?

If the sequence is already known then it is doubtful they would get a
patent, however I think they may be able to patent part of that sequence
as a specific probe for that organism.


The problem with being on the cutting edge is that you occasionally get 
sliced from time to time....

Duncan Clark
DNAmp Ltd.
TEl/FAX 01252376288

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