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Race in a BottleThe Story of BiDil and Racialized Medicine in a Post-Genomic Age$
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Jonathan Kahn

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231162999

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231162999.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Race-Ing Patents/Patenting Race

Race-Ing Patents/Patenting Race

An Emerging Political Geography of Intellectual Property in Biotechnology

(p.124) 5 Race-Ing Patents/Patenting Race
Race in a Bottle

Sheldon Krimsky

Columbia University Press

This chapter situates BiDil in the larger context of the rising use of racial categories in biotechnology patents. A central theme here is the interplay among commercial interests, regulatory structures, and scientific practice in generating distinctively racialized conceptions of biomedicine in the field of intellectual property. This chapter provides an introduction to some of the core concepts and rationales of patent law and then presents the results of a study showing the steady rise of racial biotechnology patents over the past decade. The use of race in these patents is often premised on an unstated white norm implying some sort of racial difference at the genetic level. Yet while race may be used as a surrogate for statistical correlations and genetics frequencies in the body of the patent, it often becomes solidified into a static and bounded genetic category in the legally operative claims section of the patent.

Keywords:   biotechnology patents, biomedicine, intellectual property, statistical correlations, racial difference, BiDil, racial categories

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