Don't Use 'Could You Patent The Sun?' Against Myriad

Law360, New York (June 3, 2013, 12:50 PM EDT) -- In his 1955 interview with Edward R. Murrow on "See It Now," Jonas Salk stated that he did not and would not obtain a patent on his polio vaccine, famously saying, "Could you patent the sun?" Although Salk was a great researcher and humanitarian, this statement was inaccurate and misleading. Yet, this grandiose gesture by Salk, made worldwide on American television at the pinnacle of his achievement, resonates with those hostile to a patent system.

From his earliest days, Salk dedicated himself to knowledge, and he excelled in everything he did. He chose to be a researcher rather than a physician,...

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