Human Genome Project
U.S. Department of Energy

HUGO Statement on Patenting of DNA Sequences

The Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) has released a statement on the patenting of DNA sequences. The statement summary reads, “HUGO (The Human Genome Organisation) is worried that the patenting of partial and uncharacterized cDNA sequences will reward those who make routine discoveries but penalize those who determine biological function or application. Such an outcome would impede the development of diagnostics and therapeutics, which is clearly not in the public interest. HUGO is also dedicated to the early release of genome information, thus accelerating widespread investigation of functional aspects of genes. This statement explains our concerns.”

The statement was authored by Dr. C. Thomas Caskey (President of HUGO), Prof. Rebecca S. Eisenberg (University of Michigan Law School), Dr. Eric Lander (Whitehead Institute) and Prof. Joseph Straus (Max Planck Institute). The statement was approved by the HUGO Council. It will be printed in an upcoming issue of the HUGO Europe Genome Digest and is available as hardcopy or in electronic format from the
HUGO Americas office,
7986D Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814
Fax: 301-652-3368
[email protected]