Gene-sequencing guru creates new life forms, patent issues

A leading genetics researcher is filing such broadly-defined patents that some fear a monopoly.

CNET Networks

J. Craig Venter, the rock-star bad boy of genetics research, is patenting new life forms. Rather, he's patenting certain manufactured genetic sequences, which is a fuzzy legal area to begin with. But he and his team are also defining their patents on genetic-engineering processes so broadly that he's being compared to Bill Gates.

It seems they're attempting to claim intellectual property rights for an entire industry's worth of methodology. This would be akin to Yours Truly trying to patent the use of the English language. So the genetics research world is fighting back, claiming Ventner and his team are going too far and trying to guarantee themselves a monopoly.

Sound like any software companies you know?

Read the full story at Ars Technica: "'Microbesoft' patents could put the squeeze on synthetic life"

About the author

    Emily Shurr is CNET News.com general-assignment news producer.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments
    Latest Galleries from CNET
    The 12 most distinctive phones of 2014 (pictures)
    Best mobile games of 2014
    Nissan gives new Murano bold style (pictures)
    Top great space moments in 2014 (pictures)
    This is it: The Audiophiliac's top in-ear headphones of 2014 (pictures)
    ZTE's wallet-friendly Grand X (pictures)