US introduces tougher criteria for gene patents

US patent office adopts stricter criteria for patenting of genes.

The US patent office announced new criteria for the patenting of genes on 5 January. According to the head of the biotechnology department of the US Patent and Trademark Office John Doll, quoted by the Los Angeles Times, the patenting of genes will become more difficult under the new guidelines.

The stricter rules will particularly apply to the patenting of genes whose function is not entirely clear to scientists.

The new rules are to be published on the US Patent and Trademark Office web site.

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