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Patent App for Biofx in the Cloud?

According to a recently filed application dated October 17, 2013, Illumina would like to patent what it describes as a "novel approach for storing, analyzing, and/or accessing biological data in a cloud computing environment."

Eagle Genomics writes on its blog that the "novel approach" the patent refers to "doesn't relate to any particular software or algorithm, but to the very idea of using the cloud to analyze biological data … including data from any biology-related lab instrument … that is uploaded to the cloud indirectly from other locations as well as directly from the instruments."

It also notes that the recent patent application replaces one that was filed in 2012.

The post from Eagle Genomics also points out that companies like DNANexus have sold cloud-based bioinformatics analysis since 2010. Eagle, as well, helped design and implement cloud-based analysis solutions for the Pistoia Alliance as far back as April 2011.

As such, "it is highly debatable that the patent really represents any kind of invention," Eagle writes. "Especially as there is public evidence of others having developed the exact same systems and publicized their achievements long before the patent application date."

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