[LMB] Re:butterbug reproduction

Alan Barclay gorilla at elaine.furryape.com
Mon, 24 Dec 2001 15:39:23 -0500


Quoting Shalom Septimus (druggist at pobox.com):
> Yeah, but it's a whole lot easier to patent a chemical than it is to
> patent an organism, especially one with self-replicating capability.
> Such a patent would block the competing agribusinesses from analyzing

I don't belive you can patent a chemical. You can patent a usage of
a chemical, but if someone else finds a usage for that chemical that
you didn't think of, then they can use it.

> synthesized a *new* hormone, chemically unrelated to the original,
> which nevertheless worked? Can you patent the action of a chemical
> rather than the structure? My guess is that you can't, or else we'd
> have only one drug in each therapeutic category. Ergo, Enrique would

That's exactly what most drug companies spend most of their research on,
'copycat' drugs, which are aimed at reproducing the effects of existing
drugs. Some of these changes are very minor, eg subsituting a single
group.