I'll admit up front that I don't know much about all the issues and trade-offs, but I've always been bothered by the idea of granting patents for biological knowledge. Patents are other methods of asserting control of scientific knowledge damages the foundation of science and in some cases, proprietary control of scientific knowledge may undermine its basic integrity. (It's particularly bothersome that much of the knowledge was gained with the support of public funding.)
Imagine if Microsoft dominated the study of molecular biology because it owned the foundational knowledge of genetics and agriculture. Nobody could do research or innovate without first getting a license from the company. The field could be designed to maximize profits and thwart competitors, just as Microsoft's Office suite has stymied innovation in word-processing programs ...
... a handful of biologists are now launching the equivalent of an open source movement for molecular biology! Richard Jefferson, the American-born chairman of the Center for the Application of Molecular Biology to International Agriculture (CAMBIA), based in Canberra, Australia, recently started the Biological Innovation for Open Society (BIOS) initiative with a $1 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.
Good for science and good for society.