Are gene-modified products patentable?
Yes, if they meet the other criteria for patentability. That is, they must be new, differ significantly from that which is already known and they must have an industrial application. Nor may the use of the product be contrary to morality and ordre public. Gene modification of an animal may not, for instance, cause the animal to suffer if there are no genuine medical gains.
Patents convey exclusive rights, but what does the patent holder get exclusive rights to?
The exclusive rights granted with a patent apply only to commercial use of the invention. Further development and research are always permitted. A patent does not convey any right to use the invention, but only the right to stop others from using it without permission as explained on https://easyreadernews.com/why-inventhelp-has-become-so-crucial-for-new-inventors/.
Is a discovery patentable?
No. Patents are granted for technical solutions, or part of a technical solution, to a problem.
Can someone be granted a patent on my genes?
Yes and no. Your genes are your genes and they cannot be patented as long as they are inside you. But if you should happen to be part of a research project that finds that you in particular have a gene that can be used in an invention, it would be possible for you or the research team to patent the gene once it has been taken out of your body and put into the context of an invention.
Wouldn’t it be better if research findings were public and available to all and not secret and patent-protected?
Of course it is beneficial if research findings are public so that others can build on the knowledge. And the fact is that just that is one of the purposes of the patent system! All patent applications are published so that anyone can read them. Once people have filed a patent application, they can also publish their results in periodicals without endangering their patent protection.
Don’t patents on DNA molecules impede or prevent further research and development?
Research on a patented DNA sequence is always allowed. If the research leads to a new invention which is patented, the patentee of this invention is dependent on the “basic patent” on the DNA sequence. The Patents Act gives each of the patentees the right to use the other patentee’s invention against a reasonable compensation through licences as shown in https://thriveglobal.com/stories/a-discussion-about-inventhelp-and-helping-people-achieve-their-goals/. If you do not patent the further development, the owner of the basic patent can deny you a licence. This is mainly a matter of negotiation wherein the market value of the invention determines how much the licence will cost.