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This Essay Breaks the Law


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This Essay Breaks the Law


Published: March 19, 2006

• The Earth revolves around the Sun.

• The speed of light is a constant.

• Apples fall to earth because of gravity.

• Elevated blood sugar is linked to diabetes.

• Elevated uric acid is linked to gout.

• Elevated homocysteine is linked to heart disease.

• Elevated homocysteine is linked to B-12 deficiency, so doctors should test homocysteine levels to see whether the patient needs vitamins.

ACTUALLY, I can't make that last statement. A corporation has patented that fact, and demands a royalty for its use. Anyone who makes the fact public and encourages doctors to test for the condition and treat it can be sued for royalty fees. Any doctor who reads a patient's test results and even thinks of vitamin deficiency infringes the patent. A federal circuit court held that mere thinking violates the patent.

New York Times

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This is very disturbing, I had no idea that one could own things like this (and the fact that one can is absolutely absurd)

For example, the human genome exists in every one of us, and is therefore our shared heritage and an undoubted fact of nature. Nevertheless 20 percent of the genome is now privately owned. The gene for diabetes is owned, and its owner has something to say about any research you do, and what it will cost you. The entire genome of the hepatitis C virus is owned by a biotech company. Royalty costs now influence the direction of research in basic diseases, and often even the testing for diseases. Such barriers to medical testing and research are not in the public interest. Do you want to be told by your doctor, "Oh, nobody studies your disease any more because the owner of the gene/enzyme/correlation has made it too expensive to do research?"


Such a situation is idiotic, of course.

I agree

I wanted to end this essay by telling a story about how current rulings hurt us, but the patent for "ending an essay with an anecdote" is owned. So I thought to end with a quotation from a famous person, but that strategy is patented, too. I then decided to end abruptly, but "abrupt ending for dramatic effect" is also patented. Finally, I decided to pay the "end with summary" patent fee, since it was the least expensive.

wow. I think i've ended every essay I've written with one of those things and I think a lot of students do. Does this mean that essays will no longer be a part of school curriculum down there?

Soon nobody in the states will be able to have any ideas without owing money which means.

I never actually realized just how greedy us humans are (then again, I doubt it's as bad in any other country but I have NO idea so don't hold me on that one).

Did you see the sponsor for this article:


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This may not be as bad as it looks. I saw an advertisement for an upcoming movie by that name. Link

They should mention that it's a movie. It looks like the new york times is saying thank you for smoking. Thanks for pointing that out though.

no doubt the phillip morris/general foods/kraft lawyers will be on this' date=' and demand that the Times point out that it's a movie ad, and their customers should continue smoking.


Jeremy Rifkin predicted that this would happen when they allowed the Harvard Mouse patent...it's a slow downhill slide toward corporate hegemony, with the usual ironic twists along the way.

the sad thing is that this still won't be enough to provoke a discussion of the concept. there will be heated debate about some niggly detail of the patent and no discussion of the meaning of the patent, or the patent process itself as it applies to life and living things.

the one up-side is that this can't (as far as i know) just be immediately foisted on canada, and hopefully our supreme court will react with the same good sense they diaplayed about the oncomouse...


if purple is sarcastic, what colour is cynical??

Edited by Guest
i'm a spaz.
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I've got a patent-pending on being alive and another for euthanasia. When the patents come into effect, every living being will have to pay me substantial licensing fees - there will also be licensing fees for anyone having unprotected sex (pre-meditated living); masturbation (attempted living) and pornoagraphy (because that's what gives me a reason for living).

For those that cannot afford the license fees for living, they will have to report to a Euthanasia Centre for Breach of Contract. Of course, there will be a fee to be euthanized, but I'll knock a couple bucks off for a CD and stuff.


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