Harvard College's "Oncomouse Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1633 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Law


4. For a number of reasons, I found the dissenting opinion to contain better legal reasoning than the minority opinion. First, I agreed with the dissent's suggestion that the law did not invite moral judgments about the subject matter of patents. I did not see how it was possible to exclude a mouse's genetic code from the composition of matter contemplated under the relevant patent law. In fact, the term composition of matter seemed aimed at encompassing new chemical combinations, whether organic as in the products of genetic engineering, or inorganic. Had Parliament intended a more limited term, they certainly could have included those limitations in the law, which was specifically drafted. I also found the dissent's mention of previously patented living material to be extremely relevant; if fungi had previously been patented, what legal rule was the majority using to distinguish between fungi and mice? Moreover, I found the fact that human beings are otherwise allowed to exercise total dominion over mice to be significant; the law already provides for the ownership of the animals in question. Why would the law, then, not provide specific protections for the owners of a certain strain of mice?Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Harvard College's "Oncomouse," Which Is Assignment

Furthermore, I found the majority's slippery slope arguments to be spurious. In order to prevent the patenting of human genetic material, all that Parliament would need to do would be to write a law preventing the patenting of human genetic material. This would be true even if there were not clearly recognized distinctions between human rights and animal rights, already recognized in the law. For example, slavery, the only means of legal ownership of human beings, is already outlawed. In contrast, humans are able to own or otherwise exercise dominion over every other type of animal, though there may be some restrictions in the cases of endangered or dangerous animals. Therefore, the idea that allowing a patent on mouse genetic material would lead to a world in which one could not prevent the patenting of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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