The Active Placebo Effect: Patent Eligible Subject Matter?

Last week President Barack Obama asked a bioethics committee to review federal guidelines for the use of human subjects in medical testing. This announcement came in the wake of revelations that the U.S. sponsored experiments in Guatemala the 1940s where people were intentionally infected with sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea without their consent .  Several ethical concerns are raised by human clinical trials, including the use of placebos. A common feature of modern Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – August 2, 2010

The latest links from STLR: The Copyright Office released its latest group of exceptions to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provision. Wired and cnet news report on the exception for jailbreaking mobile phones. Also in DMCA news, Ars Technica discusses the Fifth Circuit decision that bypassing technological protections to access software for a fair use does not violate the DMCA anti-circumvention provision. The Supreme Court ruled on patentable subject matter in Bilski v. Kappos. Cnet, The Continue Reading →

Court Allows Challenge to Patents on Breast Cancer Genes

Judge Robert Sweet in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has allowed a challenge to two gene patents owned by Myriad Genetics.  The ACLU, on behalf of scientific organizations, researchers, genetic counselors, and individual women, is contesting the validity of gene patents in general, and is challenging the patents on the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes in particular.  The complaint alleges that gene patents are unpatentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C Continue Reading →