This is the blog for GW students taking Human Evolutionary Genetics. This site is for posting interesting tidbits on: the patterns and processes of human genetic variation;human origins and migration; molecular adaptations to environment, lifestyle and disease; ancient and forensic DNA analyses; and genealogical reconstructions.

GWHEG figure

GWHEG figure

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Gene patent law from a global perspective

Prior to the Association for Molecular Pathology vs Myriad there was an increasing consider that a "storm" of gene patents was coming. This concern was subtantiated by a surge of gene patent applications in the mid 1990s. Gene patent law obviously have implications for parties on both sides of the coin. The requirements stipulated by patents may influence the cost and access that patients have to diagnostic testing. However, the Myriad decisions had broader implications for the protection of intellectual property and how genetic patents are enforced (especially on a global scale). This article reviews the legal nature of gene patents, how they are enforced and how this varies on a global scale. Interestingly, it appears as if the global patent "storm" is very much focused in the USA. Could this be the result of a highly privatized health care system?

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