In response to some scientists’ concerns about the rush to patent DNA segments, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) on Dec. 21 posted a new set of proposed examinations guidelines on its Web site.

Jeffrey P. Kushan, a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Atlanta’s Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy L.L.P., said that these new utility guidelines should catch the attention of scientists and academics who espouse the purist view that very small DNA segments shouldn’t be patented.

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