In general, we found that many sequences are disclosed but few are claimed as genes. If a sequence per se is claimed, it is usually claimed as an isolated or purified molecule in a particular jurisdiction. A claimed gene sequence means that any potential use of that sequence is restricted and will need to be licensed from the patent holder for the duration of the patent term or for as long as the patent is active in that jurisdiction. However, if the sequence is claimed as part of a larger sequence or as a target for a specific method, the uses of that particular sequence are unlikely to be exclusive making it possible for other inventors to access and use it freely without the need to negotiate a license. The public and innovators must be able to readily distinguish these cases to better understand the extent and scope of granted rights on gene sequences, reduce investment risks, and stimulate an equitable and inclusive innovation system, but this is extremely difficult.


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