3D Bioprinting Technologies: Patents, Innovation, and Access
6(2) Law, Innovation and Technology 282-304
26 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2015 Last revised: 17 Oct 2015
Date Written: 2014
Following on from digitisation in production which transforms traditional business models of manufacturing, 3D printing has been extending its application into biotechnology by means of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. The practice of printing living human cells challenges existing legal frameworks of bioethics, product liability and intellectual property. This article examines the impacts and implications of associated patents arising from 3D bioprinting, specifically by examining the patentability, the morality test, and the medical treatment exception. It considers the consequences of granting 3D bioprinting product and process patents and examines the corresponding rights and responsibilities of stakeholders. In order to implement the benefit-sharing responsibility embedded in international law, this paper proposes a portfolio approach to innovation, with a view to avoiding inequality and disparities in access to 3D bioprinting technologies.
Keywords: 3D printing; 3D bioprinting; Patentability; Methods for medical treatment; Regenerative medicine
JEL Classification: K11
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