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Marchant discusses DNA patents on 'Horizon'

portrait of ASU Regents' Professor Gary Marchant
June 19, 2013

ASU Regents’ Professor Gary Marchant, faculty director of the College of Law’s Center for Law, Science & Innovation, appeared on Eight, Arizona PBS' "Horizon" on June 17 to discuss the issue of patenting human genes.

On June 13 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that companies cannot patent naturally occurring DNA, but they can patent synthetic DNA. This has led to arguments among researchers and many pharmaceutical companies.

In the interview, Marchant said he thinks the decision will benefit genome research overall, noting that 21st century innovation has been blocked by 20th century patents.

“To get a patent it has to be something new, something that doesn’t exist,” Marchant said.  “It has to be human-made, essentially.”

To watch the interview, click here.

Marchant, ASU Lincoln Professor of Emerging Technologies, Law and Ethics, frequently lectures about the intersection of law and science at national and international conferences. He has authored more than 60 articles and book chapters on various issues relating to emerging technologies.