Application Rejected

The first attempt to patent human genes is turned down flat

WHETHER YOU THINK GENES were invented by God or by Nature, it seems the height of arrogance -- and absurdity -- to seek patents on the DNA that lies within human cells. Yet absurdity was not the reason the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office gave for turning down the National Institutes of Health in its bid to do just that. Instead, it was that the genes failed to meet the standards of novelty, usefulness and nonobviousness required if an invention is to be protected. Among other things, said the patent office, the descriptions of the genes had been published before, so...

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