Patents and Products of Nature Doctrine
A GUIDE TO PHARMACEUTICAL PATENTS, Vol. 2, Carlos M. Correa, ed., Chapter 1, pp. 1-16, Geneva: South Centre, 2008
29 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2008
Date Written: October 22, 2008
Can products of nature or substances occurring in nature be patented? Where does discovery end and invention begin? Does TRIPS mandate patenting of micro-organisms?
This chapter addresses these questions and examines the relevance of products of nature doctrine, in the context of scientific and technical progress. This chapter discusses the evolution of products of nature doctrine in patent law and the differentiation between an invention and discovery in the context of applying this doctrine. It analyses the use of the doctrine in USA and Europe with cases including the famous case Diamond v. Chakrabarty. It discusses the doctrine and interpreting Article 27.3(b) of TRIPS. The applicability of the doctrine for chemical compounds is also examined. The chapter discusses the options available to countries, particularly developing countries on patenting of micro-organisms, including Genetically Modified Organisms (GMs), under TRIPS.
Keywords: products of nature, TRIPS, patent, GMO, micro-organism, pharmaceutical, invention, discovery, WTO
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