Patenting Stem Cell Research in Europe and in the United States
Geertrui Van Overwalle
Leuven University; Tilburg University
December 1, 2010
CROSSING BORDERS - CULTURAL, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL DIFFERENCES CONCERNING STEM CELL RESEARCH, W. Bender, C. Hauskeller, A. Manzei, eds., Münster, agenda Verlag, pp. 519-546, 2005
Research on stem cells raises the question of the limits and conditions for subsequent patenting. The scope of EU Directive 98/44/EC of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions and its application to human stem cells appears to be uncertain. The Opinion on ethical aspects of patenting inventions involving human stem cells of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies of 7 May 2002 is a most valuable instrument, but does not resolve all legal issues involved either.
The present contribution offers a survey of the current European and United States patent practice with regard to human stem cell technology and an overview of the current European patent framework for human stem cell patents and the many questions the lack of an adapted legislation entails, taking into account EGE’s Opinion. Some attention is also paid to patents on human stem cells and human rights and the possible detrimental effects of patents on human stem cells.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 28
Keywords: Patents, Human stem cells, EU Biotechnology Directive, European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies
JEL Classification: I18, K11, O32, O34, H51Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 3, 2010
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