Today, in federal district court in New York, a ruling was made that could have major implications not only in biotech patents, but plant patents in general.
The judge wrote in his opinion, “Products of nature do not constitute patentable subject matter absent a change that results in the creation of a fundamentally new product.”
I need to read the 150+ page opinion as a whole, but this could be interesting for plant patents. As we have mentioned elsewhere in this blog, patents have been given to companies for simply describing isolated DNA, claiming rights to this as patentable intellectual property. It’s a total abuse of the patent law. What is really needed is congressional judiciary committee to hold a hearing, as they have oversight of Patent and Trade Office (PTO), who is handing out these patents left and right. We have heard from sources at PTO that they have neither the staff nor the scientific skills to fully assess the thousands of plant patents that cross their desks – as their justification for rubber stamping patents such as the one given for “yellow beans” – which groups had to spend years and thousands of dollars fighting PTO to have the patent revoked.