Patenting Human Genes in Europe: and how it compares to the US and Australia

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In accordance with the concept of the book and the assigned scope of the contribution, this chapter describes the European law with respect to the patent-eligibility of isolated DNA sequences. This chapter will further include a brief comparison with recent developments from the US and Australia. It will, however, not focus on the important debates regarding the patent-eligibility of other biological material, diagnostic methods patents (as data aggregators) or abstract ideas which will be addressed by other contributions. Moreover, the analysis will merely concentrate on patent-eligibility. Other patentability requirement will only be briefly touched upon in the discussion part.

The paper starts out in section 1.5.2 by discussing the patent-eligibility of isolated human DNA sequences on the European national level and under the Biotechnology Directive. Then the patent-eligibility of isolated human DNA sequences at the EPO will be analyzed in section 1.5.3. This will provide the basis for the final section 1.5.4, which provides a brief discussion and some concluding remarks on the current European approaches and about what effect might the recent U.S. and Australian developments might have on European policy debates and legislation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Intellectual Property and the Life Sciences
EditorsDuncan Matthews, Herbert Zech
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Publication dateJul 2017
ChapterPart I, Chapter 3
ISBN (Print)9781783479442
ISBN (Electronic) 9781783479450
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
SeriesResearch Handbooks in Intellectual Property series

Bibliographical note

Intellectual property (IP) is a key component of the life sciences, which is becoming one of the most dynamic and innovative fields of technology today. At the same time, the relationship between IP and the life sciences is raising new public policy dilemmas. The Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and the Life Sciences comprises contributions by leading experts from academia and industry that confront current debates and controversies at the intersection of IP and the life sciences through in-depth analyses of key topics including pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and genes, plant innovations, stem cells, the role of competition law and access to medicines.

The first section of this book highlights the importance of IP for medicines and pharmaceuticals, discussing topics including gene patents, and the second section deals with agricultural sector issues such plant innovations. Section three of the book covers areas of research and development in the life sciences, such as stem cell research, and raises questions about incorporating ethical considerations into patent law. While the primary focus of the book is on Europe and the United States, the fourth section includes country-specific case studies on Australia, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Kenya, South Africa and Thailand to provide a truly international perspective.

This Handbook is written in an accessible style that will appeal to intellectual property law scholars, practitioners, and experts in the life sciences who are interested in the legal implications of IP for the life sciences.

Contributors include: J. Allred, T. Avafia, C. Chiarolla, D. Degen, J.M. Golden, S. Gosh, M. Graf, J. Harrington, A. Heinemann, M.D. Janis, M. Kock, D. Matthews, C.R. McManis, A. Metzger, T. Minssen, C. Mund, P. Paranaguá, A. Plomer, S. Ragavan, M. Rimmer, C. Seitz, T. Takenaka, G. Van Overwalle, D.Wächter, G. Würtenberger, Z. Xinfeng, B. Yao, B. Yagi, H. Zech

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Law - European Patent Law, Human Genes, Biologics, Australia, US, Personalized Medicine, new developments, regulatory exclusivities

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