On July 23rd, the House passed by voice vote an amendment on human patenting offered by Dave Weldon (R-Fla.) as part of the Commerce-Justice-State appropriations bill (H.R. 2799).
The text of the amendment is:
"None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this act may be used to issue patents on claims directed to or encompassing a human organism."
This provision is objectionable for the following reasons: 1) Since the language does not define “human organism” it could preclude patenting of many biotechnology inventions (see attached chart), thereby impeding the development of new and potentially life saving products; and 2) the language is unnecessary as it is current PTO policy not to issue patents on humans. Moreover, this amendment would preclude the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) from granting patents on an organism of human species at any stage of development produced by any method, a living organism made by human cloning, and a process of human cloning.
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