Agricultural Biotechnology: Drawing on International Law to Promote Progress
22 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2015 Last revised: 5 Nov 2015
Date Written: April 1, 2015
In Bowman v. Monsanto, the Supreme Court declined to apply the principle of exhaustion to limit the patentee’s ability to control the reproduction of self-replicating inventions. This decision was justified from a patent law perspective on the basis that patent holder has a right to prevent others from making the invention. But what happens when we take other perspectives into account? For instance, a farmer might have human rights or other rights that may need to be balanced against the patentee’s right. Since globalized intellectual property standards were established through international agreements and much of the resistance to intellectual property laws is taking place at the international level, this Article turns to international law for guidance. Taking into consideration the competing regimes that touch on intellectual property rights, this Article concludes that we must continue to look for solutions within intellectual property law itself.
Keywords: intellectual property, human rights, international law, biotechnology
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