Tomorrow Morning on NPR: BIO, ACLU Discuss Gene Patenting

Good afternoon IPers:  BIO’s Associate General Counsel for Intellectual Property, Hans Sauer, Ph.D., J.D.,  will participate in an hour-long segment on gene patenting on NPR tomorrow from 10-11am.

The host of On Point, Tom Ashbrook, will discuss gene patenting in the context of the ACLU/Myriad lawsuit with Hans and Chris Hansen, senior national staff counsel at the ACLU (http://www.aclu.org/national-security/chris-hansen-senior-national-staff-counsel).

You can listen from your desk at http://www.wbur.org/listen.  Callers will have the opportunity to ask questions after the first 20 minutes.

If you’re interested in the topic, you can find background material on gene patenting at http://bio.org/ip/genepat/ and our amicus brief in the ACLU lawsuit is posted at http://bio.org/ip/amicus/documents/BIOAmicusBriefACLU-Myriad12-09.pdf.

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Department of State: Foster Climate Change Solutions, Biodiversity, & Economic Development with IPR Protections

CropLife recently posted their newest video interview last week with Carrie LaCrosse, of the Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement at the U.S. Department of State.

LaCrosse discusses the value of IP for agriculture, looking in particular at new plant varieties and how IP is part of the solution in addressing the food security. LaCrosse states that intellectual property rights protections (IPR) encourages the development of plant varieties, including protected varities, at reduced or free prices — thus allowing countries to protect their biodiversity while also meeting increased demand for crops due to climate change and economic crisis.  My favorite quotation comes near the end, where LaCrosse aptly states that innovation is historically sparked by challenging times.

Don’t forget to add the Indian insect-resistant eggplant to the list of innovative plant varieties changing the world.

BIO to USA Today: Patents Promote Innovation

BIO President & CEO James Greenwood published an op-ed piece in yesterday’s USA Today on how “patents promote innovation”:

Public debate over access to, and use of, genetic technology is a good thing. It requires the consideration of many factors, including coverage and cost, concerns over genetic discrimination and myriad regulatory issues.

Even so, banning patents on gene-related breakthroughs would slow biomedical innovation to a halt — taking away the hope biotechnology offers to patients suffering from debilitating diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s and HIV/AIDS — while doing nothing to address what is really a much more complicated set of issues.

You can post a comment (we assume you have one) at USA Today, and take PatentlyBIOtech’s poll below:

Patent Docs: Falsehoods, Distortions and Outright Lies in the Gene Patenting Debate

Patent Docs blog reviewed the most repeated criticisms of the patenting of genetic materials, providing a critical hand to assist non-technical observers of the debate currently swirling around in legal, scientific, and academic circles.

The author considers the recent criticisms  a “zeitgeist” effort supported by a lack of basic scientific knowledge and an ignorance of the role of intellectual property in the process of scientific discovery, research, and development.

The most fundamental rebuttal (for this blogger) lies in the fact that the phrase “gene patenting” is a misnomer.  To read why, visit Patent Docs and read the blog post here.