US Tries to Limit Gene Patents

WASHINGTON, DC-The US Patent and Trademark Office is trying to stop companies from frivolous attempts of gene patenting.

New guidelines were released Friday, aimed at ending patents for companies that do not have specific utility or substantial claim to a gene.

Companies can patent a gene as long as they specify the use and show that their claim is worthy of a patent. The guidelines were written to prevent companies from prematurely patenting genes before understanding their uses.

Even though there were protests by people who argue that genes are part of nature and cannot be patented, the officials decided genes can be patented as long as they have been cloned or reproduced in a laboratory and their function is defined in some way.

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