Two kinds of currently available genomic patents may significantly interfere with medical research: (1) patents such as those on specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which may include claims that control the inference of phenotypic characteristics from specific genotypes, and (2) patents on computer-based genomic information, databases, or manipulation procedures. These will create more serious encumbrances than will patents on expressed sequence tags (ESTs). Two approaches should be considered vis-à-vis these genomic patents: (1) Reconsideration and redefinition of the recent extensions of patentable subject matter into more and more intangible areas. This could be pursued by legislation or by test litigation to seek Supreme Court reversal of certain of the decisions of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). (2) A narrow legislative exemption protecting the ability to use SNPs and phenotypic-genotypic relationships in medical research, including contexts in which medical research and clinical practice are substantially intertwined.