The following is an excerpt.
A human gene is nothing more than a sequence of A’s, T’s, C’s and G’s representing the chemicals that make up the strands of a DNA molecule. Each gene has a beginning and an end, and determining where those are takes a lot of skill and experimentation. But a gene is not an invention in any conventional sense, because it wasn’t created by the hands of humans. In fact, if it isn’t an exact replica of what is found in nature, it is useless.
The same goes for maps. They require skill and work to create but done right, they’re an exact representation of the physical earth — if not, people can die. Yet even though a good map is nothing more than a copy of nature, they’ve been specifically covered by copyright law, a close cousin of patent law, at least since the 1700s.
Read the full article here: What If They Treated Gene Patents Like Nautical Charts?