The Unnerving Frontier: Human Gene Patenting in Canada

20 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2016

Date Written: April 6, 2015


The biotechnology industry is one of the world's fastest growing markets and contributes an estimated $87 billion per year. There is an escalating trend of an increasing reliance by biotech companies, even universities, in developing patent portfolios with potential for great economic returns. In 2002 the Canadian Intellectual Property Office granted approximately 2,100 gene patents, which was a rate similar to the number of gene patents granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office on a per capita basis. Gene patenting is highly contentious within the scientific and legal communities. The purpose of this paper is to provide a legal analysis of whether or not patenting human genes can even be valid under under Canada's current legal framework.

Keywords: Intellectual property, patent, gene

Suggested Citation

Ciechanowski, Peter, The Unnerving Frontier: Human Gene Patenting in Canada (April 6, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

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