Genetic patents

Should it be possible to patent one of our total of around 20,000 genes? The debate on this issue has been raging for a long time, and patents attract great interest because their potential financial value is immense.

Pursuant to European legislation it is not possible to patent genes. On the other hand, you can patent knowledge derived from genetic research, as well as methods to analyse genes, for example methods used to diagnose whether patients are at risk of hereditary conditions due to genetic mutations. It is also possible to patent artificial sequences, meaning DNA produced using biotechnology.