The Technological Edge

23 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2010 Last revised: 2 Oct 2020

See all articles by Elizabeth I. Winston

Elizabeth I. Winston

Catholic University of America (CUA) - Columbus School of Law

Date Written: October 15, 2010


To grant a patent to natural phenomena hinders innovation, taking back from the public that which the public has a right to possess. To deny a patent to man’s manufacture undercuts the fundamental bargain of the patent system. All inventions, at their core, may be deemed natural, rendering it difficult to distinguish between man’s manufacture and natural phenomena. Determining whether the innovative aspect of the product is a technological one, rather than a natural one, can clarify whether the patent grant promotes the progress of science and the useful arts. The higher the level of skill in the art required to innovate the less likely it is that the invention is already in the public domain. The technological edge provides the distinction between man’s manufacture and nature’s handiwork.

Keywords: 101, natural phenomena, patent, technical arts, patentability, seed, vaccine, gene patents, myriad

Suggested Citation

Winston, Elizabeth I., The Technological Edge (October 15, 2010). Akron Intellectual Property Journal, 2012, CUA Columbus School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-16, Available at SSRN:

Elizabeth I. Winston (Contact Author)

Catholic University of America (CUA) - Columbus School of Law ( email )

3600 John McCormack Rd., NE
Washington, DC 20064
United States

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