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July 24, 2012


What do you think of the Michael Chrichton (RIP) call in his penultimate novel "Next" for repeal of Bahy-Dole?
For details see:

sorry, Bayh

Dear Arthur:

I am not a fan of the late Dr. Crichton, who (in)famously wrote an Op Ed piece in the NY Times with a scenario of a gene patent owner ringing your doorbell and presenting you with a bill for using a gene located in your liver. All just to promote his book, Next.

Jon Soderstrom of Yale is better informed than I on the effects of Bayh-Dole, but let me say that prior to passage of that act big companies, foreign and domestic, could steal technology developed by universities, whereas after passage they needed to license the resulting patents. I think repealing Bayh-Dole would be even dumber than rendering genes patent ineligible.

Thanks for the comment.

In "Next" Crichton was concerned with a plethora of hot button issues in the genetic engineering field. His point 5 in his "Author's Note" in "Next" was the repeal of Bayh-Dole. It is clear that he was concerned about the result in the Moore case. Do you agree with the holding in that case? While "Next" is a little too lurid for my taste, it could serve as a bioethics textbook. I recommend reading it. You can buy a good used copy for under $5 on Amazon.

Though it's perhaps understandable that these bills might be somewhat untouchable during an election year -- particularly on the heels of the patent reform bill -- I honestly can't see how any thoughtful citizen could find it controversial to support and promote American innovation. This proposed legislation seems extremely tame, compared to the AIA.


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