2003年09月08日

Who owns the Genome?

Who Owns the Genome?

By Richard Epstein



[http://wwwhoover.stanford.edu/publications/digest/031/epstein.html]

Should private companies be granted patents on the human genome? Richard Epstein on a debate that he argues has been fraught with needless misunderstanding.



\"The fundamental questions of property rights are simple yet profound: What things may be reduced to private ownership, and how is that best done? From the earliest times, such resources as air and water were treated as part of the common heritage of mankind, which precluded any individual from claiming outright ownership of these resources, which all were in a position to use. Now we must decide the extent to which intellectual property should be governed by a similar common property regime: Can ideas, inventions, and substances be made private or must they be left in the public domain? And if private, for how long? The answers will have a huge impact on research and development of the human genome. \"


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