Examination of the Issues Surrounding Biotechnology Patenting and Its Effect Upon Entrepreneurial Companies [August 31, 2000]   [open pdf - 210KB]

From the Document: "The biotechnology industry is notable both for its heavy concentration of small businesses and its weighty research and development (R&D) expenditures. Given the small size and heavy expenses of many biotechnology firms, their ability to raise venture capital may be of some consequence. The patent law has been identified as a facilitator of these R&D financing efforts. […] Two principal issues have arisen regarding biotechnology patenting. First, observers have fundamentally questioned whether patents should be granted for living inventions, genetic materials and other biotechnologies. Ethical issues, concerns that biotechnology patenting promotes animal suffering and decreases genetic diversity, as well as regard for the traditional agricultural community animate many of these objections. Supporters of biotechnology patenting counter that trade secret protection is a less attractive social alternative, observe that patents have long been granted for biotechnologies, and question whether the patent law is the appropriate vehicle for technology assessment. Commentators have also differed over the extent to which an inventor must show a specific, practical use for a biotechnology in order to be awarded a patent. Congress may choose to exercise oversight on these issues. Such consideration would likely include examination of U.S. commitments in international agreements along with other factors."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30648
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
National Agricultural Law Center: http:// www.nationalaglawcenter.org/
Media Type:
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