Should patents be allowed for human genes?

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a case that could stop the patenting of human genes.

Advocates for the biomedical industry assert that patents drive medical discoveries. The multibillion-dollar industry performs critical research in the fight against cancer and other diseases.

Opponents of gene patents, including Nobel Prize-winning scientists and medical groups say the patents slow discovery and research by restricting access to the genes. “Finding a new use for a product of nature, if you don’t change the product of nature, is not patentable,” lawyer Christopher Hansen argued.

Today’s Question: Should patents be allowed for human genes?

  • Jack

    Tom, the last link (here on the National Archives website) in the story does not work.

    • http://j.mp/a92iw2 Tom Weber

      Jack – thanks for replying! I fixed the link.