Rapport met Technopolis Group over beschermingsmechanismen op het gebied van intellectueel eigendom met betrekking tot medicijnen.
European Commission, Directorate General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW).
This is the Final Report of the of the Europen Commission Expert Group on the development and implications of patent law in the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering, which is chaired by Dr. Sven Bostyn. It describes in detail the issues regarding a number of very important topics in the area of biotechnological inventions, i.e., the patentability of plants and processes for making plants, issues relating to human embryonic stem cells and the patentability of human DNA. It finally provides advice for future policy and legislative work.
This article provides an in-depth critical analysis of pressing issues regarding the patentability of plants. There is no public interest overarching principle present in the European Patent Convention or any other convention for that matter which would exclude patent protection for plants. The expansionist behavior of some users of the patent system seeking to obtain patent protection for methods and products which are very akin to traditional breeding methods needs to be halted and patent applications in that context deserve very close scrutiny so as to avoid that the border is crossed. Patents for hybrid seeds ought not to be protected by patents, as they in effect protect plant varieties as such. If the patent system is not capable of keeping such innovations outside of the patent territory, the call for excluding all plant-related innovations from patentability will become more influential. Products produced by essentially biological processes should not be patentable. However, in the absence of a statutory basis, the current legal framework does not allow the judiciary to come to such conclusion. The EPC needs to be amended in this respect. Finally, introducing a breeders’ exemption in the patent system could jeopardize the internal and external architecture of the patent system and one should be wary of introducing it.
Lezing gehouden tijdens symposium "The ethics of patenting human genes and stem cells", georganiseerd door University of Copenhagen, Danish Council of Ethics en Biotik, 28 september 2004.
Background study for the European Commission within the framework of the Expert Group on Biotechnological Inventions, European Commission, Directorate-General for Research Food Quality and Safety, 2004.
European Patent Office, 2001.