Ed’s Weblog

…now my real blog

Patently absurd

Posted by Ed on March 19, 2006

This is so absurd, I had just had to post it. The New York Times is reporting today that a company has been granted a patent on the correlation between elevated homocysteine and vitamin B12 deficiency. That’s right, they’ve been granted a patent on the relationship between these factors, not just on a test or treatment for them. It is therefore illegal for me to publish that finding without paying royalties to the company.

Elevated homocysteine is linked to B-12 deficiency, so doctors should test homocysteine levels to see whether the patient needs vitamins.

Oops! Suppose the bastards’ll have to sue me now… Actually, it gets even wierder. According to the article:

A corporation has patented that fact, and demands a royalty for its use. Anyone who makes the fact public and encourages doctors to test for the condition and treat it can be sued for royalty fees. Any doctor who reads a patient’s test results and even thinks of vitamin deficiency infringes the patent. A federal circuit court held that mere thinking violates the patent.

Not quite sure how they’re going to enforce that one…

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