Decoding the Research Exemption
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
May 25, 2011
Nature Reviews Genetics, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 148-154, 2006
While debate continues as to whether genetic sequences, which many argue represent natural phenomena rather than inventions, should be subject to standard patent protections, issuance of patents that claim DNA sequences remains common practice. In an attempt to insulate researchers from patent claims that could hinder scientific progress, many countries have provided general exemptions for scientific research. However, there is no international consensus about the extent of required protections, and even existing exemptions vary widely in clarity and are limited in practical application. We believe that gene patents raise several unique issues that are inadequately handled by the current research exemptions.
Keywords: genetics, research, patents, research exemption, international
Date posted: May 25, 2006 ; Last revised: November 14, 2012