What invalidating breast cancer gene patents implies
Life sciences research literally touches on issues of life and death.Biotechnology aims to serve basic human needs such as Biotechnology has been defined, as “being any technique that uses living organisms, or parts of organisms to make or modify products, to improve plants or animals or to develop micro-organisms for specific uses”.Since Research & Development in biotechnology is extremely time consuming and requires huge investment, granting Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is an effective tool to protect.
Although deciphering human gene sequences is very time-consuming, the deciphering process is advancing at a surprisingly fast rate because of cutting-edge information technology, and especially computer technology supporting it.It is the specific sequence of these bases that provides the exact genetic instructions that provides an organism with its own unique traits.DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid): It’s a double-stranded molecule within each cell that encodes hereditary information; also the template for RNA molecules that turn genes on and off.The grant of a patent confers a civil right on the patent owner to prevent others from exploiting what is claimed in the patent, excluding the use for scientific research purposes.Of all the present issues in biotechnology patenting, the main problem is that, attempts to harmonize the existing patent laws and practices internationally have not yet fully succeeded. In US patent law, the term “invention” means invention or discovery.
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Of all the areas of modern science and technology that involve intellectual property protection, it is the patenting of biotechnology inventions, and specifically genes that has captured the greatest public attention and controversy.