1.) I argue property rights over land and moveables are grounded in brute facts of possession
2.) I argue that IP rights are not grounded, and so we can generally alter them at will except where they may conflict with grounded rights
3.) I explain that patents protect expressions (manifesting a type in some way in the world of tokens) of a type, not the type itself. They are exclusionary, not possessive rights, giving the patent holder the right to exclude another from reproduction or practice of his or her type
4.) A gene is the arrangement of nucleotides that codes for a protein. Its action involves the creation of proteins by mRNA, which as it creates the proteins, reads the beginning and end of the gene, and leaves out the introns. This is the same mechanism employed by humans when we make cDNA.
5.) A patent on cDNA, I argue, is not different than the patent on the gene itself as there is nothing new about the cDNA. Nature devised long ago the methods of reading genes and making proteins. cDNA is thus not novel and not properly patentable. (ultimately, though, my commons argument trumps all of this).
6.) Newly created genes, not otherwise found in nature but assembled from intentional action by humans are properly patentable.
7.) The human genome is a constantly evolving object that involves every member of the species, and is, I argue, a commons by necessity, like outer space, the atmosphere, sunlight, and radio spectra. Discovering its nature, replicating its processes and using them to our benefit cannot ethically be done to the exclusion of others. Granting exclusionary rights to discoverers of genes that are part of that genome interferes with our common rights as beneficiaries and possessors of parts of the human genome.
8.) Myriad, for instance, when it uses its patent on the BRCA1 and 2 genes that are linked to breast cancer, prohibits meanwhile the replication by others of the genes themselves. It has sent cease and desist letters to scientists who were doing lab work on those genes. I argue that it is our right in common to explore and investigate our individual genomes, as well as the human genome, unhindered by claims of others. What Myriad "owns" is a right to stop you from doing that, and they have exercized that right to the our common detriment.
9.) Miami Children's Hospital has done the same thing with the Canavan's disease gene, and while their right is not one of standard, possessory ownership, it is the right to exclude others from doing research on that disease. This is, I claim, an unethical usurpation of the commons of DNA.
10.) My argument differs from what lawyers know as an "anti-commons" argument, which I do discuss in my book, but which my argument does not rely upon. Anti-commons are created where over-patenting has hindered research. This may well be happening, as the Murray article tends to point that way, but my argument about the commons and DNA is a totally new, totally different argument founded on my ontology of commons by necessity.
I hope this clears up my arguments a bit. In a bit, I will also point out how I believe Holman and others have distorted my discussions of the law (as I begin to discuss above in justifying my discussion of Moore based on its use by Celera's attorneys). I have also tried to point out, in relation to Holman's lengthy selection accusing me of creating "fictions," that my position on these issues is correct if you don't buy (as I don't, and argue against) the "isolation and purification" argument, which I argue is a fiction.
I find it still very strange that Holman's review cites my chapter 7 as a re-hash of the anti-commons arguments of others, when nowhere in that chapter do I ever make anything like that argument.
But I see all that discussion as a distraction, and my book spends about 10 out of its 200 pages discussing cases, none of which are determinative of the argument or conclusions.