HOMEBREW Digest #5590 Thu 06 August 2009

[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]

		Digest Janitor: pbabcock at hbd.org


                 Sponsor The Home Brew Digest!
     Visit http://www.hbd.org/sponsorhbd.shtml to learn how
    Support those who support you! Visit our sponsor's site!
********** Also visit http://hbd.org/hbdsponsors.html *********

DONATE to the Home Brew Digest. Home Brew Digest, Inc. is a 
501(c)3 not-for-profit organization under IRS rules (see the
FAQ at http://hbd.org for details of this status). Donations
can be made by check to Home Brew Digest mailed to:

HBD Server Fund
PO Box 871309
Canton Township, MI 48187-6309

or by paypal to address serverfund@hbd.org. DONATIONS of $250 
or more will be provided with receipts. SPONSORSHIPS of any 
amount are considered paid advertisement, and may be deductible
under IRS rules as a business expense. Please consult with your 
tax professional, then see http://hbd.org for available 
sponsorship opportunities.

  RE: Yeast Patents ("Mike Sharp")
  Re: Yeast Patents (donniestyle)
  Yeast and Biopiracy (Alexandre Enkerli)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The HBD Logo Store is now open! * * http://www.hbd.org/store.html * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Beer is our obsession and we're late for therapy! * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * NOTE: With the economy as it is, the HBD is struggling to meet its meager operating expenses of approximately $3400 per year. If less than half of those currently directly subscribed to the HBD sent in a mere $5.00, the HBD would be able to easily meet its annual expenses, with room to spare for next year. Please consider it. As always, donors and donations are publicly acknowledged and accounted for on the HBD web page. THank you Send articles for __publication_only__ to post@hbd.org If your e-mail account is being deleted, please unsubscribe first!! To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE send an e-mail message with the word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" to request@hbd.org FROM THE E-MAIL ACCOUNT YOU WISH TO HAVE SUBSCRIBED OR UNSUBSCRIBED!!!** IF YOU HAVE SPAM-PROOFED your e-mail address, you cannot subscribe to the digest as we cannot reach you. We will not correct your address for the automation - that's your job. HAVING TROUBLE posting, subscribing or unsusubscribing? See the HBD FAQ at http://hbd.org. LOOKING TO BUY OR SELL USED EQUIPMENT? Please do not post about it here. Go instead to http://homebrewfleamarket.com and post a free ad there. The HBD is a copyrighted document. The compilation is copyright HBD.ORG. Individual postings are copyright by their authors. ASK before reproducing and you'll rarely have trouble. Digest content cannot be reproduced by any means for sale or profit. More information is available by sending the word "info" to req@hbd.org or read the HBD FAQ at http://hbd.org. JANITORs on duty: Pat Babcock (pbabcock at hbd dot org), Jason Henning, and Spencer Thomas
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 16:56:21 -0700 From: "Mike Sharp" <rdcpro at hotmail.com> Subject: RE: Yeast Patents Alexandre Enkerli posts about: Patenting Yeast Strains? There are plenty of patents on Yeast strains, going back to 1873 when Louis Pasteur was awarded US Patent 141072. He made the claim of "yeast, free of organic germs of disease, as a living organism." Even in this early case, Pasteur was using the yeast to make beer. Some of the more recent examples of yeast patents make claims to be genetically engineered, but some, such as US Patent 5543161 don't appear to state how the strain was produced. For a plant patent it might matter, but I don't think that's the case for a Utility patent. In any case, Diamond v. Chakrabarty in 1980 confirmed that living organisms can be patented. What's interesting about this particular case is how he seems to be making the claims. I've examined a few yeast patents, and it seems like for the most part their claims are based on identifying the strain via its properties, not by its gene sequence. The exceptions are the genetically modified yeast strains, but even they don't present a complete sequence, just the genes responsible for the effect the patent is trying to protect. See, for example, US Patent 6117649. I'm wondering if gene sequences are *ever* used for identifying a particular strain for IP purposes, and if so, how far off do you have to be to be unique (and therefore able to patent the new strain)? It seems like a minor mutation would remove any patent claims on the new strain, if it was based solely on gene sequence, even though it might have the same essential properties. But when the applicant makes claims on the properties, presumably well enough to uniquely classify it, then they have a broader grip on the strain. As far as using a plant patent, I'm not sure how anyone can argue yeast is a plant...According to the USPTO: Plant Patent Issued for a new and distinct, invented or discovered asexually reproduced plant including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state, it permits its owner to exclude others from making, using, or selling the plant for a period of up to twenty years from the date of patent application filing. Plant patents are not subject to the payment of maintenance fees. I read that to mean a "discovered" plant cannot be patented, because it must be cultivated. Yet I see yeast patents have been issued. I don't think what Cano discovered could be considered a "newly found seedling". The courts have also said that a plant found in the wild is not patentable, so in Cano's case, I'm suspicious of the patentability. On the other hand, there is that Louis Pasteur patent... Recently India passed a law allowing microorganisms to be patented, but there is still some discussion about what a microorganism really is, as it relates to IP law. More information can be found here: http://www.moffitt.org/Site.aspx?spid=4E99107C06964E94A987F7D8BB8D48B4 Regards, Mike Sharp Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2009 09:20:43 -0500 (CDT) From: donniestyle at directlink.net Subject: Re: Yeast Patents Not an authority, but it seems as a home brewer, one can do as they wish with the yeast purchased in a bottle of beer. Now that you point out the yeast is there, I think there will be a number of home brewers doing so. Where can I get some of that brew? ;^) Don Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2009 12:22:35 -0400 From: Alexandre Enkerli <enkerli at gmail.com> Subject: Yeast and Biopiracy Darrell, just across the border in Plattsburgh, gives us a reference on biopiracy. Thanks for that reference! Actually, biopiracy was on my mind as I was reading the Wired piece about Cano. I watched the following French documentary 2.5 years ago and it brought home several points about the issues surrounding patents, copyright, and trademark on living organisms: http://is.gd/25705 We had a discussion about this through our brewclub's mailing-list and our club's resident dairy farmer was telling us about some of those issues from his perspective (he's now moved to a fully organic production, AFAIK). Like Monsanto's control on how some crops may be used because they had engineered the GM seeds. Fascinating stuff. Patents on yeast strains may seem like a relatively trivial matter, by comparison to the most problematic cases of biopiracy. But yeast is also tremendously important and it's as good as any topic for a discussion of openness in experimentation and research. What troubles me personally about Cano's protection of that yeast strain isn't that, for 20 years, other craft breweries won't be able to release beer fermented with it. It's the restriction on yeast culturing and experimentation. In other words, it's not about Dogfish Head having access to this strain to brew an Amber Ale. It's about Raj Apte and Peter Tonsmeire playing with it. It's about the precedent that can be set. It's about the disconnect between lobby groups like WIPO and regular folks like us. Not that it's the end of the world. But this is an issue which deserves much more consideration than it's getting. Who knows, it might be a significant factor in finding solutions to the current ecological crisis. Ale-X in Laval ARC [888km, 62.5] http://blog.informalethnographer.com/ Return to table of contents
[Prev HBD] [Index] [Next HBD] [Back]
HTML-ized on 08/07/09, by HBD2HTML v1.2 by KFL
webmaster@hbd.org, KFL, 10/9/96