Navigation Links
Biotechnology needs 21st century patent system: Expert
Date:3/17/2008

Biotechnology discoveries like the method for creating synthetic life forms are at risk of being unduly hindered or taken hostage by private corporations unless patent systems are brought into the 21st century, an expert from The Australian National University argues.

Dr Matthew Rimmer from the ANU College of Law takes a broad look at the current state of international regulation around intellectual property rights and biological inventions in his new book and the prognosis is far from healthy.

Most patent systems around the world were developed during the industrial revolution, which means theyre ill equipped to deal with more complex range of inventions arising out of life sciences things like man-made micro-organisms, GM plants, the human genome and stem cells, Dr Rimmer says.

Dr Rimmer says that patent systems provide protections around inventions provided they satisfy criteria to do with novelty, an inventive step and utility. But he argues that such legal tools are not nuanced enough for biotechnical innovation, where inventions can be at once more intellectually subtle and morally ambiguous.

When it comes to biotechnology, our antiquated patent systems can have detrimental consequences either hampering the freedom of researchers to take full advantage of experimental use and the possibilities for innovation, or giving a lot of control over living things to a very small group of people.

Dr Rimmer laments the rise of patent trolls companies that take out patents on very slight biotechnical innovations, and then hold other researchers to ransom if they attempt to make any progress in that particular area.

On the other hand, he acknowledges the legal and ethical complexities surrounding the actions of scientists like those at the J. Craig Venter Institute in the US, who are trying to patent the method for creating a synthetic life-form. While the organism involved is incredibly simple, Dr Rimmer says such moves could lead to patents being taken out on much more complex living things.

Dr Rimmer argues that in order to provide more incentives and protections for scientific innovation, there needs to be greater scope in Australia and elsewhere for challenges to patent applications. He also says there is a need for a broader legal defence of experimentation. Finally, Dr Rimmer argues that thresholds need to be raised to make it harder to get a patent, which would be a blow to patent trolls.


'/>"/>

Contact: Simon Couper
Simon.Couper@anu.edu.au
61-261-254-171
Research Australia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reports on advances in miRNA
2. Workshops on biotechnology and water for science journalists
3. Monsanto expands sponsorship for Peking-Yale Joint Agrobiotechnology Center
4. Plant reflections may be key to early detection of treatment needs
5. Gene, stem cell therapy only needs to be 50 percent effective to create a healthy heart
6. Meeting real-world climate information needs of business, government
7. Europe needs collective effort on System Biology, says ESF Task Force
8. How will government spur technological innovation in the 21st century?
9. Building the future -- 21st century nano tools to repair the nervous system
10. Carnivores in recent study help Bergmanns rule reach the 21st century
11. St. Jude settles century-old debate on origin of mammalian network of lymphatic vessels
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/15/2016)... 2016 Transparency Market Research ... Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size Share ... the report, the  global gesture recognition market  was ... is estimated to grow at a CAGR of ... Increasing application of gesture recognition technology ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... , June 3, 2016 ... Management) von Nepal ... und Lieferung hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, ... führend in der Produktion und Implementierung von ... der Ausschreibung im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... , June 1, 2016 ... in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost Global ... a recently released TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics ... Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the ... billion by 2021, on account of growing security concerns ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... While ... machines such as the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines ... is the height of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader in clinical research patient ... and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, Mosio revisits the hurdle ... and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of how patients receive and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Md. , June 23, 2016 A person ... from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA ... sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply ...
Breaking Biology Technology: