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Europa  > European Commission  > Research > Life Sciences > EGLS > Patenting of Genes
  * "Patenting of Genes"



On their first discussion forum "Genetics and the future of Europe" on 6th and 7th November 2000 in Brussels the EGLS recognised the important role of intellectual property for exploitation of university research and identified the need for clarifying the issues related to patenting of biotechnological inventions;

Therefore, the EGLS, together with the Commission services, invited experts from research, industry, law and the European Patent Office to discuss the issues related to "Patenting of Genes" in a meeting on the 5th of July 2001.

This meeting addressed the following issues:

  • the use and management of intellectual property rights related to biotechnological inventions in academia and industry;

  • the legal environment regarding patenting of biotechnological inventions in the EU, in particular directive 98/44, and a comparison to the US system and

  • the challenges introduced by the impact of patent law on research and, vice versa, the interplay between advances in science and the interpretation and development of patent law.

More details on the issues discussed and the list of speakers are available from the agenda.

As a result of extensive and constructive discussions with the invited experts and the members of the EGLS present at the workshop, as well as further input and comments from a number of EGLS members, the EGLS formulated a statement related to "Patenting of Genes". This statement identifies important research policy issues related to the patenting of genes and proposes possible policy measures to be taken. One of these measures involves the setting up of an expert group involving legal expert, scientist and patent administrators (EPO) to discuss the interplay between scientific progress and the development and implication of patent law in the area of biotechnology and genetic engineering. This group is currently being implemented by DG Markt and DG Research and will also assist the Commission in its monitoring and reporting activities, as requested through §16c of directive 98/44 on the protection of biotechnological inventions.

For further information on this meeting please contact the EGLS secretariat or Waldemar Kutt


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