Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Joshua Kim


The patentability of Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs), small fragments of DNA that scientists use to identify genes, has been a topic of heated debate in intellectual property law and the scientific community. Much of the debate encompasses the far-reaching consequences of effectively placing control of thousands of ESTs into the hands of a few patent holders. In re Fisher, a recent Federal Circuit decision, was anticipated to settle the question of EST patentability, but may have failed to establish a decisive standard. A more workable standard calls for a clearer articulation of specific utility requirements as well as non-obviousness standards to determine EST patentability.