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Patenting Bioprinting-Technologies in the US and Europe – The 5th Element in the 3rd Dimension

2017, “Patenting Bioprinting Technologies in the US and Europe– The 5th element in the 3rd dimension", Working Paper, Chapter 7 in: RM Ballardini, M Norrgård & J Partanen (red), 3D printing, Intellectual Property and Innovation – Insights from Law and Technology. Wolters Kluwer, Forthcoming

27 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2017 Last revised: 18 Apr 2017

Timo Minssen

University of Copenhagen - Centre for Information & Innovation Law - Faculty of Law

Marc Mimler

Bournemouth University - Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM); Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute

Date Written: April 4, 2017

Abstract

The opportunities and the broader implications of bioprinting raise a wide variety of crucial legal issues. These may range from the regulation of the science and its’ societal effects to questions regarding the commercialization of the technology. Regarding commercialization aspects, one issue that must be addressed concerns the question of what types of products and uses should be regarded as protectable subject matter under the relevant intellectual property right (IPR) frameworks. Considering that the availability IPRs is one of the factors that might have a great impact on where the greatest investments and scientific efforts in this technology will be made, this is an utterly important question. In addition to trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks and other IPR-related rights, patents will most likely play a major role in that respect and will be at the focus of this paper.

In this paper, we examine and discuss what sorts of bioprinting - inventions are being patented or would be - protectable under European and US patent laws. Rather than focusing on the highly relevant questions that 3D printing poses for patent infringement doctrines, IP governance, user-generated solutions and research exemptions, this paper concentrates on the question of patentable subject matter and patentability. To this end, we start out by (1) briefly describing the relevant state of the art in bioprinting. This allows us to better describe and understand the current bioprinting patent landscape (2), and to examine in how far any future inventions stemming from such technology would meet the most basic U.S. and European patent requirements (3). A related question is of course, if some bioprinting technologies should be categorically excluded from patentability, i.e. even when meeting the most basic patent criteria. We address this specific issue by discussing patent-limitations and morality exclusions from patent law (4), which will allow us to complete the paper with some concluding remarks (5).

Suggested Citation

Minssen, Timo and Mimler, Marc, Patenting Bioprinting-Technologies in the US and Europe – The 5th Element in the 3rd Dimension (April 4, 2017). 2017, “Patenting Bioprinting Technologies in the US and Europe– The 5th element in the 3rd dimension", Working Paper, Chapter 7 in: RM Ballardini, M Norrgård & J Partanen (red), 3D printing, Intellectual Property and Innovation – Insights from Law and Technology. Wolters Kluwer, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2946209

Timo Minssen (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Centre for Information & Innovation Law - Faculty of Law ( email )

Karen Blixens Plads 16
Copenhagen, 2300
Denmark
+46 708 607517 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://jura.ku.dk/ciir/ansatte/?pure=da/persons/381631

Marc Dominic Mimler

Bournemouth University - Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM) ( email )

89 Holdenhurst Road
Bournemouth
Dorset, BH8 8EB
United Kingdom

Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute ( email )

67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields
London, WC1A 3JB
United Kingdom

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