Human Embryonic Stem Cell Patent and Protection of Embryos – Controversies Surrounding Directive 98/44/EC

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Patent and Protection of Embryos – Controversies Surrounding Directive 98/44/EC

 

Title
Human Embryonic Stem Cell Patent and Protection of Embryos – Controversies Surrounding Directive 98/44/EC
Author
In-Chin Chen
Keywords
human embryonic stem cell, morality, Directive 98/44/EC, patentability, cloning
Abstract
Many experts believe that human embryonic stem cells may lead to medical
revolution and treat a lot of hitherto incurable diseases. Since embryos may be
destroyed in this process, the controversies over the legal and ethical status of
human embryos are extended to, weather inventions involving human embryonic
stem cells are patentable. Article 53 (a) EPC excludes the patentability of inventions
the publication or exploitation of which would be contrary to “ordre public”
or morality. Directive 98/44/EC, integrated into the EPC implementing regulations,
illustrates the following examples as not patentable: the processes for cloning
human beings; processes for modifying the germ line genetic identity of human
beings and uses of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes.
The Examining and Opposition Divisions of EPO exclude from patentability all
inventions involving human embryonic stem cells. Since the principal patentability
of biotechnological inventions is enshrined in Article 27(2) TRIPS, this essay
starts from the strict interpretation of morality clause and its illustrating examples,
and critically evaluates the controversies including the EGE opinion No. 16.
Abstract Article

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