"Ravicher offered an analogy to describe the plaintiffs' argument, saying, "It's like saying if someone removes your eyeball ... just because you remove the eyeball and wash it off, that doesn't make the eyeball patentable. "Now if they create another eyeball out of plastic or metal, then you can patent that."Now, if you changed the gene somehow to have a unique function, that's different. But I really don't think you should be able to patent a gene just because you found it. It slows scientific research and makes it more difficult for doctors and patients to get affordable testing. Usually the number one argument I've heard in my classes for patents is that you spent all that time working on something, you might as well get the credit for it. But as my professor said, if you want credit, publish a peer reviewed paper on it - then everyone will know it was you.
..."It's like trying to patent the moon," he said. "You didn't do anything to create it, just discovered something that already existed. You can't patent things that are publicly available, that anyone can find. You have to create something, make something, do something with the thing.""
That being said, I don't really know why the ACLU is being involved. I think their first amendment arguments are kind of weak, and that this can be overturned by patent laws alone. Maybe Yeshiva University's law school just wanted the monetary help?
What are your thoughts on gene patents?