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Who Owns You?: The Corporate Gold Rush to Patent Your Genes

Customer Reviews:

thoughtfully picks apart a fascinating subject

By modbom - June 18, 2009

Wow. This is a fascinating topic with a lot of complex issues of science, philosophy and law. Who Owns You digs deep in all of these places. The author skips nothing on this methodical, philosophical trip. I found it a to be a great primer on the nuts and bolts behind the science of genomics. It also pieces apart a thicket of assumptions around our ideas of identity, personhood, ownership and yes property rights (copyrights, patents etc). Even if you find yourself differing with the author on some of his conclusions your thinking on the subject will be an order of magnitude more precise and informed after reading this.
His writing style is very friendly and readable. In the best tradition of science writing it embraces complexity with aplomb. The details and research really made the book, and it's arguments, come alive for me. It's rare that such an erudite argument is so fun to read.

Patently Obvious - Koepsell hits the nail right on the head

By Luigi Palombi - October 5, 2009

For such a complex subject this book is easy to follow. The issues are clearly explained and the arguments succinctly made. Patents are about inventions. The bedrock principle of any patent system is that natural phenomena are not patentable. They belong to no one. They are part of the public domain. They are to be shared by humanity for humanity. We all know that. True it may be that patents are granted to inventors for making their ingenious inventions known and available to the world and that is a social good that deserves a social reward, but the equilibrium between that good and that reward has been disrupted. At least 20% of the human genome is now subject to US patents. How has this happened? What does this mean at a practical everyday level? And what has to be done to stop this injustice? These are the questions which this book poses and explores. There is more to this book than academic gymnastics. It's actually really important for all of us to understand how the patent... read more

Clear argument for not patenting genes

By Richard C. Koepsell - August 7, 2010

Dr. Koepsell makes a clear case for why the Patent Office erred in allowing patents on genes or parts of genes. If you want to understand the issue, this is a philosophical/legal argument that a layman can understand. An important issue of our times which needs to be corrected.

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