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Isolated Human Gene Patents: Taxonomies and Controversies

  • 03.31.11
  • Jorge Goldstein
  • Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C.

Given the continuing focus on the patent eligibility of isolated human genes in the U.S., as demonstrated by the Myriad Genetics case presently before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), it is worth analyzing the history of gene patenting and try and understand the reasons and timing for present day controversies.

In this paper, Dr. Goldstein's analysis will recount the early days of gene patenting, describing a "permissive" era, during which the courts and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) were exploring the legal landscape, and will then bring the reader to the present.

Dr. Goldstein presented this paper as a panelist during a recent seminar at the University of Illinois Law School – Urbana Champaign, “Patenting in the Biotechnology Industry:  30 Years after Diamond v. Chakrabarty” on September 22, 2010.

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