EC holds off on patent harmonization on stem cell research
Should patents on gene cell sequences follow the classical model of patent claims or be limited to specific uses ("purpose-bound protection")? Bill Heinze reports that the European Commission on "Development and implications of patent law in the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering" isn't taking a position for the European parliament -- nor are they going to push harmonization. Why? In their words:
"In the light of the clear divergences which currently exist between Member States as regards the acceptability of research relating to embryonic stem cells, the continuing and rapid developments in this field, and the fact that the Directive itself provides for Member States to refuse patents on grounds of public order or morality under Article 6(1), the Commission considers that it is premature to give further definition or provide for further harmonization in this area. At the same time the Commission will monitor developments taking into account both the ethical aspects and the potential impact on competitiveness. It has launched a study looking at the ethical and legal aspects of stem cell patenting."
Posted by Laurel Newby on July 26, 2005 at 12:50 PM | Permalink
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