Patented Past, Genetically Modified Future? Biotechnology and Developing Countries
University of Sussex
Web Journal of Current Legal Issues, Vol. 4, 2007
This article deals with some of the intellectual property protection of biotechnology in developing countries. The article does not pretend to present an exhaustive study about the subject, but to provide an introduction to the problems faced by developing nations. There are several circumstances in which this is of immense relevance for the international community. On the one hand, there is the case of genetic material originating from the developing world being catalogued, and in many cases patented, by firms from developed countries. On the other hand, we have the science of the future, the cracking of the human genome, the advent of genetic modification of organisms, and the patenting of applications of the knowledge acquired from the genetic code. Developing countries are then caught between these two, with intellectual property as the mechanism that locks away this technological knowledge. With the patenting of traditional medicines and plants, they see their past being taken away. With the patenting of the application of genes and genetically modified organisms, they see their future sheltered away as well.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Keywords: biotechnology, developing countries
JEL Classification: K33Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 1, 2007
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