There are several ways in which rights can be assertedover DNA sequences in patent utilization, there are four applications of DNAsequences :The first gene associated with breast cancer was discovered in 1994 in Utah. The discovery was initiated by the Universityof Utah and the US company called Myriad Genetics.
This gene is located onchromosome 17. The gene has been used in several patent applications for breastcancer treatment. In 1995, two applications for a patentwere granted. These applications asserted rights over BRCA1 gene sequence anddiagnostic tests, which can detect mutations of this gene. The same year,another patent application was awarded. The patent can claim a number ofmutations in the BRCA1 gene.
In 1996,the patent that asserts rights over a method of identifying people with anormal copy of the gene and those who carry seven mutations of the gene BRCA1.In 2001, a patent that asserts rights over the diagnostic use of the geneBRCA1 was granted. This patent is in conflict with several organizations forits inefficacy. In 2001, the European Parliament adopted a resolutionopposing the patenting of the BRCA1 gene. Many researchers ask themselves ifpatents on diagnostic tests prevent other diagnostic tests from being expandedand used. Or if patents like those that assert rights over the BRCA1 generestrain further research. Scientists are dealing with these issues on dailybases. But, there are no exact answers yet.
The patenting of human gene sequences met with severalethical problems. This essay discusses some ethical problems surrounding patenting of human gene sequences. It also explains thecurrent legal situation in the UK with regard to the patenting of DNAsequences. There were several conflicts between the calls for theprotection of data of human genome and the calls for access to these data. ThePresident of the United States, Bill Clinton, and the Prime Minister of theUnited Kingdom, Tony Blair, made on 14 March 2000 the joint statement, whichdeclared that data on the human genome and DNA sequence should be publiclyavailable for all scientists around the world.
During last century, there were several attempts todevelop and apply the advanced and unique technologies. Over last 20 years, theNational Institutes of Health Intramural Research Program, which is the ownerof the greatest number of patents of United States produces a large number ofgenes, sections of genes and the proteins, which are used for many patentapplications. Lots of patents have been granted. The cloning of new genes,which develop therapeutic proteins have led to the production of a collectionof new medicines, which are based on human proteins. Whilst the recognition ofgenetic mutations that cause disease has been extensively applied in theevolution of new diagnostic tests for diseases. Patents which claim equityrights over DNA sequences have been granted in both of these areas.
Manycompanies that produce drugs are interested in the application of geneticknowledge to the process of drug detection. Many more patent applications canbe expected after the completion of the sequencing of the human genome. In the 1970s and1980s, the modification of living organisms over genetic engineering opened upnew opportunities for the advancement of innovative outputs.
Scientists wereable to propose the production of new drugs based on a human gene by inserting synthetic genes straight into a bacterium.These drugs were enriched with new properties. Such developments expeditiouslyled to a recognition of the profitable opportunities arising from geneticmodification and the advantages of protecting advancements through theapplication of the patent system. The substantialincrease in the rate of patenting of DNA sequences in private and public sectorhas led to debates by researchers about the influence of this practice. Patent practice and patent law have promotedas a consequence of these discussions. There remain, nonetheless, inquiriesabout the utilization of patent law with regard to DNA sequences and involvementin the possible consequences for the population of allowing such patents. The patentsystem is a method, which encourages people to evolve unique and advantageous items by ensuring that they are able to capitalizeon their inventions. Patents have been used for protection of a vast range of inventionssuch as new medicines or new materials.
In 1953, thestructure of DNA was discovered by James Watson and Francis Crick. Thediscovery of the genetic material of living organisms completely altered thestudy of biology. Since then, scientists have examined how DNA works. The HumanGenome Project was created in 1990.
The aim of the project was theidentification of all the genes in human DNA. The draft of the map of the humangenome was distributed in 2001. Thesegenes play an important role in human disorders and diseases. Theidentification of human genes focusses on the development of new treatments. Researchinto the sequence of the human genome has been commenced by researchinstitutes, charities, and universities.Two different research communities published two versions of the map of thehuman genome sequence.
Both drafts were published in public databases. The patent system, trade secrecy, and confidentialityhave played an important role in the protection of knowledge about human genes.