User Tag List

12 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 11

  1. #1

    Question Patenting life is legal, but should it be?

    Is it ethical? Is it a doomed practice? or Is it inevitable? Your thoughts please.

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Lots of information you may not know before contributing. (I bolded the important bits.) --->

    I was poking around on the internet and found this group and page entry: "NO PATENTS ON LIFE" WORKING GROUP UPDATE

    Our genes have been evolving for hundreds of millions of years. The basic food crops that sustain us all have been carefully bred for at least ten thousand years by farming communities. Yet individuals, institutions, and corporations have the audacity to claim to have invented these shared biological resources. In the two decades since the US Supreme Court first ruled in Diamond v. Chakrabarty that a genetically engineered bacterium could be patented, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has expanded patent rights to encompass not just microorganisms, but gene sequences, expressed sequence tags (ESTs), proteins, cell lines, genetically modified plants and animals, and even non-genetically modified species.

    Meanwhile, similar patents on life are being forced on the rest of the world through the Trade Related Aspects of International Property Rights (TRIPs) agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In an attempt to reverse this trend of patenting life, the Council for Responsible Genetics is now working with other groups throughout the United States to draft model legislation that would exclude living organisms and their parts from the patent system. We hope that this model legislation will help build a "No Patents on Life" movement in the United States, which not only supports the growing international movement but also successfully challenges US domestic policy on life patents.

    The number of patents on genes, food crops, and other living organisms and their parts is growing. The international anti-poverty organization ActionAid recently documented that there are over nine hundred patents on varieties of the world’s five major staple food crops; six agrochemical companies control most of these patents. Another study, published last year in Science (February 16, 2001, Vol. 291) found that just three biotechnology companies had filed for patents on over 20,000 full-length human gene sequences. Already at least 1,300 patents on full-length human genes have been granted. This expropriation of humanity’s collective heritage into a few private hands is not only unfair; it has potentially devastating consequences. Patent holders gain the right to either charge licensing fees or exclude others from using or benefiting from their patented invention for twenty years. Already the harmful effects of life patents on human health, food security, agriculture, indigenous rights, and global development are apparent.
    What first got me thinking about this was a segment in Food, Inc. where the story features some of the controversial practices of a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation called Monsanto; more specifically the issues surrounding their bioengineered, highly resilient (and highly pest-/fungi-resistant), patented soybeans that are outstripping natural varieties of soy and ultimately contaminating neighboring farmer's fields (the few that opted not to purchase their product). They then proceed to sue those farmers for unlawful use of their product, as they have a team of investigators that follow up on farmers using (or not using as it were) their products to be sure that they are not collecting the seeds after harvest, thus ensuring their monopoly on forcing even the contracted farmers into repurchasing their grain each new season indefinitely.

    Another controversy surrounding this company not discussed in the film is their "terminator seed" technology; plants that grow to be sterile guaranteeing the same outcome underlined above without the cost of patent enforcement.

    Patenting life is not restricted to plants and seeds. The landmark case that changed things was in 1980, Diamond v. Chakrabarty. It centered around a genetic engineer working for General Electric who had developed a bacterium that broke down crude oil that might be tremendously helpful in cleaning up disastrous oil spills. According to Wiki:
    The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences agreed with the original decision; however, the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals overturned the case in Chakrabarty's favor, writing that "the fact that micro-organisms are alive is without legal significance for purposes of the patent law." Sidney A. Diamond, Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, appealed to the Supreme Court.
    While I understand that these companies require an incentive for innovation and the outcomes of this funding pouring into their research and development could be beneficial to all despite the high financial cost, I am very concerned about the longterm societal and environmental costs.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  2. #2
    WALMART
    Guest

    Default

    Disgusting.



    edit: the farmer story. i understand the purpose of the legislature.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Elisius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    MBTI
    ENFP
    Enneagram
    2w1 so/sx
    Posts
    157

    Default

    Keeping in mind our current mode of economy, yes, 'life' can be patented, I don't agree with it, but there's no legal reason for it not to be. I wouldn't call a bacteria alive on the same level that a human is, it's just a self-replicating machine. It can't think, it can't feel, and we may as well put it to use for us. Same for plants and to a lesser extent livestock.
    Genetic modification is not in and of itself wrong and neither are the patents. The concerns are where Monsanto is suing farmers for having their crops when it was due to seed spillover, or companies not allowing medical research on the grounds that they hold the patent. THAT is sinful, but not genetic engineering.
    You want to stop patents on genetic codes? Fine, hell I'm for that. But that won't stop the research, and nor should the research stop.
    A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

  4. #4
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3,041

    Default

    Before that... less than 20 minute thing that happens all the time.

    Might be a doomed practice. People globally are already harping on Monsanto in their respective countries.

    But, this is what I don't like too much about patents, copyrights, and IP. There is room for them, but they can easily be taken out of hand if recent events in news aren't enough.

    They'll soon come up with a bill where you don't own what you buy. This is the scenario that I get with Monsanto.

  5. #5
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    MBTI
    estj
    Enneagram
    378 sx/so
    Socionics
    esfp
    Posts
    3,038

    Default

    It's not a question of should, it isn't. Life will always find a way to escape the crutches of imprisonment.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  6. #6
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Posts
    4,209

    Default

    The purpose of a patent is to protect the investment capital for technological innovation. If patent protection did not exist, you would see a lot of capital for R&D dry up due to the fact that not many people want to invests millions of dollars into inventing a new process (whether agricultural or pharmaceutical) just to see a random person who had nothing to do with its invention copy it for free as soon as it hits the market. For those ignorant of IP law - patents have a life span of 14 years, after which point they expire and anyone can use the invention free of charge. Also, any method or device that is patented has a clear instruction manual available for public use after the expiration period.

    I think much better candidates for a moral outrage would be patent trolls, i.e. people who do not contribute anything to innovation, but instead abuse laws designed to protect inventors for their own profit.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    ENTJ
    Enneagram
    3w4
    Posts
    6,276

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    The purpose of a patent is to protect the investment capital for technological innovation. If patent protection did not exist, you would see a lot of capital for R&D dry up due to the fact that not many people want to invests millions of dollars into inventing a new process (whether agricultural or pharmaceutical) just to see a random person who had nothing to do with its invention copy it for free as soon as it hits the market. For those ignorant of IP law - patents have a life span of 14 years, after which point they expire and anyone can use the invention free of charge. Also, any method or device that is patented has a clear instruction manual available for public use after the expiration period.

    I think much better candidates for a moral outrage would be patent trolls, i.e. people who do not contribute anything to innovation, but instead abuse laws designed to protect inventors for their own profit.
    Patent trolling is a problem, but patent trolls don't have the money or influence to change the law in their favor. In fact, they're operating in a system created by companies like Monsanto (through lobbying efforts). Monsanto, on the other hand, does have the money and influence to change the law. And what's concerning is that no corporation pursues true fairness, they pursue government favor.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #8
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Posts
    4,209

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Patent trolling is a problem, but patent trolls don't have the money or influence to change the law in their favor. In fact, they're operating in a system created by companies like Monsanto (through lobbying efforts). Monsanto, on the other hand, does have the money and influence to change the law. And what's concerning is that no corporation pursues true fairness, they pursue government favor.
    What you are describing is a problem with our current politicial system, not specifically our patent laws.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    The purpose of a patent is to protect the investment capital for technological innovation. If patent protection did not exist, you would see a lot of capital for R&D dry up due to the fact that not many people want to invests millions of dollars into inventing a new process (whether agricultural or pharmaceutical) just to see a random person who had nothing to do with its invention copy it for free as soon as it hits the market. For those ignorant of IP law - patents have a life span of 14 years, after which point they expire and anyone can use the invention free of charge. Also, any method or device that is patented has a clear instruction manual available for public use after the expiration period.

    I think much better candidates for a moral outrage would be patent trolls, i.e. people who do not contribute anything to innovation, but instead abuse laws designed to protect inventors for their own profit.
    I thought I read it was 20 years. Or perhaps it's different lengths of time based on different categorizations? I don't really understand how this works. I'm sure most people don't.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  10. #10
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Posts
    4,209

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    I thought I read it was 20 years. Or perhaps it's different lengths of time based on different categorizations? I don't really understand how this works. I'm sure most people don't.
    Yes, it does depend on categorizations, with 20 years being the longest. But the point being, it's only for newly invented stuff, so you can't just find something existing in nature and then claim a patent on it.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

Similar Threads

  1. Why should it be that there are more Sensing types than Intuitives?
    By Cellmold in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 06-09-2013, 06:08 PM
  2. With the best will in the world, is will enough, can it be sustained?
    By Survive & Stay Free in forum Politics, History, and Current Events
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-16-2012, 07:39 AM
  3. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 05-21-2012, 01:50 PM
  4. Who sets the standards? Why is it so? Should it be different?
    By Survive & Stay Free in forum Politics, History, and Current Events
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-18-2011, 09:00 AM
  5. [Fe] If your life were a city, would it be inhabitable?
    By EnflamedHeartofSand in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 63
    Last Post: 07-16-2010, 03:57 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO