News FocusDNA ANALYSIS

Will Patent Fights Hold DNA Chips Hostage?

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Science  16 Oct 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5388, pp. 397
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5388.397

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Summary

The potential of DNA chips, which can identify DNA by getting it to bind onto a large array of sample sequences fixed to a surface, have companies big and small competing frantically to corner the field (see main text). But looming legal disputes--over patents on both the "hardware" (the chip technologies themselves) and the "software" (the actual genes that dot the arrays)--could dampen this enthusiasm. Just about everyone involved is expecting the legal situation to heat up if and when companies begin to earn profits.

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