Is there a place for gene patents in the patent act? Since before the ruling in Diamond v. Chakrabarty this issue has stirred much controversy in the legal and scientific communities. Although the scope of patentable subject matter has been defined, whether gene patents fall within the precise limits of the Chakrabarty doctrine remains unclear.
Gene patents have increasingly faced scrutiny from people who often times don’t understand genetics or the complexities of the patent process. A lack of understanding has led them to make emotive and one-sided arguments. In his novels, Michael Crichton warns of dangerous mutated bacteria and genetically engineered dinosaurs. Similarly, in 1831, Mary Shelley warned of maniacal grave robbing scientists who would use their gifted minds to bring the dead to life. Before his death, Crichton entered the political arena and tried to convince Congress to ban genetic sequence patenting. There were others like him who argued that government should interfere with genetic research.