I Don't Know If Software Patents Could Be a Good Idea …
… but I'm sure that we can't trust the European Union to administer patents:
If a gene is already in use, doesn't it count as “prior art”?
WOMEN in Europe who happen to be of Ashkenazi Jewish descent may want to keep that fact from their doctor when being tested for breast cancer genes.
Myriad Genetics of Salt Lake City won a European patent on 1 July covering a specific mutation in the BRCA2 gene, which increases the risk of breast cancer. The mutation is found in 1 in 100 women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. The ruling means that doctors offering tests for BRCA2 mutations are now legally obliged to ask women if they are Ashkenazi Jews. If they say they are, doctors must pay a licence fee to Myriad. No fee is due if a patient says she does not know.
Is this another instance of The Exception Clause? Alex Bensky said:
According to my analysis, some time in the early 1920's the League of Nations passed a resolution which is still an integral part of international law. This resolution provided that any statement of principle, any doctrine, any policy, or any precept by anyone, be it individual, organization, or government, tacitly contains the proviso "except for Jews."It goes further than we might think.