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

    Don't Miss
    Hot Products
    Trending on CNET

    Last-minute gift ideas

    Under pressure? These will deliver on time

    With plenty of top-notch retailers offering digital gifts, you still have time to salvage your gift-giving reputation.