Lessons from the European Union: The Need for a Post-Grant Mechanism for Third-Party Challenge to U.S. Patents
12 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2006
There is ongoing legal challenge in the European Union regarding a number of human gene patents held by a U.S. corporation for sequences of two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, mutations in which indicate a predisposition to breast cancer. Specifically, the most recent oppositions challenge the patents as not fulfilling relevant provisions in the European patent law, as well as impeding heath care and scientific discovery. This Article discusses the European controversy over the BRCA gene patents and recent opposition decisions of the European Patent Office and also advocates the creation of a similar third party opposition procedure in the U.S. to address similar legal and policy concerns.
Keywords: BRCA, patents, genetics research, health care, European Union, opposition
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