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Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2013 12:02 AM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Natural Data






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Post #1445774
Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2013 7:21 AM


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I hope it never gets to the point where corporations can claim ownership of gene sequences (whether they be natural or engineered) in our body. That would make procreation look like copyright infringement.
Post #1445952
Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2013 8:12 AM
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I'm firmly on the side of this sort of thing not being being something you can patent. Patenting the means to snip, maybe. Patenting what has been snipped, no. That to me sounds like someone patenting the paper based on the shape cut out with a pair of scissors. I see no harm in patenting the means of cutting the paper, but the paper, like the gene, existed already, and just because you've taken a subset of it, doesn't mean it's suddenly something new, it's not.
Post #1446002
Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2013 12:15 PM


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Maybe I'm slightly off topic here, but...

Once upon a time there was a principle that you could patent a new invention only if it was not something that others familiar with the state of the art might reasonably be expected to do if faced with the same problem you were solving. That principle has been so ignored by patent officies throughout the world (and especially by the USPO) that it might as well not exist. Another principle was that you couldn't patent something that already exists in nature. That too appears to have have been abandoned quite a long time ago. There was also a principle that you couldn't patent mathematics, or scientific discoveries, because these weren't inventions; that principle too has apparently been abandoned. There a principle that you couldn't patent something that you couldn't demonstrate - also blown away. And of course there was a principle that you couldn't patent something that someone else had invented first and made public, which was killed off (by the courts and the patent bureaucracy, not by the legislature - the bureaucracy ruled that a filed and published draft patent didn't constitute prior art if was allowed to lapse, and the courts upheld them) in the USA at least 140 years ago. You could copyright (quite different from patent - but law on copyright and design rights is drifting sharply towards nonsensical grants and nonsensical rights, just as with patents) an original work, but not an idea (as opposed to its expression) or anything that was part of everone's ordinary experience, like a geometrical shape that was commonly encountered.

My personal view of the current situation is that it is unsustainable. We need to make massive changes in intellectual property law. We need to make patent law and recover the old discarded principles of patent law described above and do the same for copyright law and design rights law, so that we see no more claims that providing rounded corners on a rectangle make something which anything else involving such a rectangle shall be deemed to have copied. It should be mandatory for patent holders to provide licenses (on pretty cheap terms if they are not exploiting the patents themselves, otherwise on terms that are reasonable in the light of the likely effects on the patent-holders' businesses). The period of the various intellectual property rights should be adjusted (downwards) so as to provide a decent incentive for creation but not a ridiculous one that damages society. If we do these things, and make the bureaucracies and the courts enforce them, intellectual property law will once again encourage innovation, instead of stifling it as it currently does. If we don't do these things, only lawyers (and lazy bureaucrats, and IP trolls) will benefit.


Tom
Post #1446170
Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2013 2:36 PM
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It seems to me that they should be able to patent the process for getting the genes, but not the genes themselves. How can you patent something you did not create?

That sounds to me like saying that if I have those genes, they now belong to the company because they found a method for separating them.

If they were able to create a brand new combination of genes that did not already exist in nature, that would be a different situation.
Post #1446229
Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2013 4:05 PM
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"Ultimately I think we will find our jobs as data professionals becoming more and more complex as we must not only solve problems and manage data, but we will also end up being constrained by the legalities governing the data. "

I could not agree more with what you have said Steve. As we in IT have invaded the business world automating as we go we have done some very complex processing. Now as we reach further into the workplace and the realm of science we are doing the much more complex for the simple low hanging stuff is done.

And since we have been working closer and closer to the heart of the business we are finding that business and process owners are growing more and more apprehensive. With this apprehension comes concern,k and with concern, protection, and with protect comes legal. It will get much more complex as it moves forward. In the old days it was if we were doing magic and no one really understood what we were doing. Auditors all but gave up in some cases for it was all but impossible to understand what we were doing.

Now they understand the how of what we have done and are doing and are making further more complex requirements of our software, processes, and products to insure that the how we are doing things is the most correct way. (Really this is as it should be, but as a result it becomes more complex).



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Post #1446251
Posted Thursday, April 25, 2013 3:09 PM


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Eric M Russell (4/24/2013)
I hope it never gets to the point where corporations can claim ownership of gene sequences (whether they be natural or engineered) in our body. That would make procreation look like copyright infringement.


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Post #1446730
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 11:27 AM
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Eric M Russell (4/24/2013)
I hope it never gets to the point where corporations can claim ownership of gene sequences (whether they be natural or engineered) in our body. That would make procreation look like copyright infringement.


The conflict comes when we realise that we really do as a society want this sort of work done, if this work has value. Do we as a society want these tests for cancer to be available? And if so, what do we suggest as an alternative to the patent system? How do we fund valuable work?

I'm not picking sides, and this particular case does include testimony regarding other work being done that may not have subsequently been patented, but with intellectual property issues, there are going to be two sides to this issue and society is well served by these conversations in regards to these issues.
Post #1447110
Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 11:34 AM
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Also, it seems this time that the big tech firms are NOT fighting CISPA, rather they are supporting its passage. I'd sure like to see which big tech firms are fighting it though!
Post #1447111
Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:05 PM
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Eric M Russell (4/24/2013)
I hope it never gets to the point where corporations can claim ownership of gene sequences (whether they be natural or engineered) in our body. That would make procreation look like copyright infringement.


Have you heard about this case? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore_v._Regents_of_the_University_of_California. I think we're already there.
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