• Humans “have only 30,000 genes, so the fact that there are now 8,000 of those genes or more that are patented is a significant number,” David Koepsell said during a talk sponsored by the Health Law Association.
  • Celera’s shareholders pushed for more profit than what the company was making selling its rapid-sequencing technology, Koepsell said. After examining the existing case law, attorneys at Celera decided that the company could begin patenting the genes that its scientists discovered. Since then, more than 8,000 genes have been issued to various corporations.
  • Koepsell also argued that genes should not be patentable in the first place because of the distinction between inventions and laws of nature. Isaac Newton could not have patented the law of gravity because it is a law of nature, he said. Newton discovered the law of gravity; he did not invent it.

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