Patents on chimpanzees, sperm cells and human genes

Source: Farm Wars

Munich, 28.11.2011. Today Testbiotech is publishing a “Black List” of European Patents that have already been granted. Ten examples, granted since 2009, were selected for the list in cooperation with the Initiative “No Patents on Life”. It is shown that even chimpanzees have been patented after being genetically manipulated to suffer from epilepsy so that they can be used by the pharmaceutical industry (EP1852505). Furthermore, patents were granted on human sperm cells (EP1263521), on gene sequences from patients suffering from cancer (EP1090117) as well as on genetic information stemming from top athletics (EP1546403).

Testbiotech’s opinion is that these patents show that European Patent law needs extensive revision. The ethical boundaries as well as the definition of what can be regarded as an invention have to be redefined in law: “European Patent law is a political failure.

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