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« USPTO News Briefs | Main | Biotech/Pharma Licensing News »

February 20, 2012


Interesting post.

I presume you are not suggesting that a business actually would be able to keep secret - for long - the location or sequence of a gene - true ? If you think that can be done, how long do you envision for the life of the secret?

Moving past those points, how would trade secret protection work with a diagnostic genomic project that will depend for validity on replication by other scientists?

Yet again innovation is poised to kill off legal systems of the past.

Dear Kirk: I think there is a place for multigenic diseases for the pattern of disease-relsted mutations to be kept secret. This would not happen, of course, if university professors were involved but it could be if a company identified such patterns from patient tissue samples.

Recall that the FDA does not regulate diagnostic assays like it regulates drugs, and any CLIA-certified lab can use "home brew" testing. And even if there is regulation, politics could prevent disclosure, since successful use in a jurisdiction like Europe or Japan would mobilize political pressure to have such tests in the US. Since diagnostics are unlike drugs and won't immediately kill people there will be less political will to keep them off the market.

Thanks for the comment.

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