Biotechnology Patents in Europe - From Law to Ethics
BIOTECHNOLOGY, PATENTS AND MORALITY, 2ND EDITION, pp. 197-206, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2000
Posted: 7 Dec 2010
Date Written: December 6, 2010
For the last 25 years we have seen a flood of new developments and new applications in the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering. The question facing researchers, patent practitioners, patent authorities, courts and legislators is whether or not, and if yes, to which extent, protection for this technology can be accommodated under patent law.
The present paper first offers some background information on patent law in general and on patent law and case law concerning biotechnology patents, to cater for readers who are not familiar with patents and the like. The paper then presents a survey of the conceptual and technical objections which were brought to bear over the years to deny patent protection to living matter, and explains how these objections are being dealt with nowadays. Last but not least, the paper focuses on the ethical objections which have been raised.
Keywords: Patent law, Biotechnological inventions, Living material, DNA, Subcellular fragments, Plants, Plant varieties, Animals, Product of nature, Enabling disclosure, Reproducibility, Rote Taube,Tollwutvirus, Chakrabarty
JEL Classification: D23, D45, H 41, H51, I18, K11, L14, L 65, O13, O31, O32, O34
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