Patentability and Scope of Protection for DNA Sequence-Related Inventions From the Perspective of the United States of America and Europe
Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Law, Vol. 4, p. 36, 2013
17 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2013
Date Written: April 19, 2013
Since the mapping of the human genome and the technical innovations in the field of biotechnology, patent law has gone through great controversies. Protection is required for an investor to make an investment but how broad should the given protection be? Whether the invention is a micro-organism capable of dissolving crude oil, or the gene of a soya plant, the genetic engineering required for their production entails vast amounts of capital. The policy in that respect is tailored by legislative acts and judicial decisions, ensuring a fair balance between the interests of patent right holders and third parties. However, the policy differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, thus creating inconsistencies with regards to the given protection to the same invention, and as a result this could deter innovation and promote stagnation. The most active actors shaping the patent policy on an international level are the patent offices of the United States of America, Japan and the European Patent Organization. These three patent offices have set up a cooperation programme in order to promote and improve efficiency with regards to their patent policies on a global scale. However, recent judicial developments have shown that the policy in respect to the field of biotechnology differs between the patent regimes of the United States of America and the two-layer system of the European Patent Organisation/the European Union.
Keywords: Patent, DNA Biotechnology, Patentability Requirements, Scope of Protection, US Patent Regime, European Patent Regime
JEL Classification: O34, K00, K11, K19, K39
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