Patent Law's Problem Children: Software and Biotechnology in Transatlantic Context

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON PATENT LAW 187 (Ruth Okediji & Margo Bagley. eds., 2014).

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-50

37 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2014 Last revised: 18 Jul 2016

See all articles by Dan L. Burk

Dan L. Burk

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Date Written: September 15, 2014

Abstract

The law of patentable subject matter has been in flux now for nearly three decades. On both sides of the Atlantic, courts, administrative agencies, and legislators have struggled with the application of patent law to biotechnology and computer software, the "problem children" of modern patent law. While this ongoing struggle has not yet produced definitive solutions to the quandaries posed by these technologies, it may have at last defined the problem. Both biological and digital code are increasingly treated under similar standards, suggesting the convergence on a consistent doctrine for information technologies. This chapter traces the major developments in software and biotechnology patenting in Europe and in North America, demonstrating the parallel approaches taken by jurisdictions on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as the common issues posed by both technologies.

Keywords: software, biotechnology, patent, intellectual property, subject matter, patent eligibility, comparative law

JEL Classification: O31, O32, O33, O34, L86

Suggested Citation

Burk, Dan L., Patent Law's Problem Children: Software and Biotechnology in Transatlantic Context (September 15, 2014). GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON PATENT LAW 187 (Ruth Okediji & Margo Bagley. eds., 2014).; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-50. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2496250

Dan L. Burk (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

4500 Berkeley Place
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States
949-824-9325 (Phone)

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