Non-Obviousness in Bio-patents: The US and the EPO Position​?​

Aayushi Meena and Mohit Meena
National Law University Odisha, India.

Volume III, Issue VI, 2020

“The patent scheme has historically been used for mechanical instruments and the like. Including the use of a patentable biological substance. Disputes over their artistic status and private control and monopoly over life, per se, arose. There is a controversy as to whether modern technical developments mandate a new patent system. The problem was not between living and inanimate objects but between products of nature, whether living or not and innovations created by humans. Even today, ethical issues are constantly expressed, but they are much less vociferous. According to patents, the European system exhibits a disciplined but inclusive regime for correct biotechnology and its various progenies. This position is contradictory to the American law on patents, which is stripped of any such moral clause. The patent regime in Europe is all inclusive. As regards bio-patents, the European clause was liberal and stemmed a great deal from the TRIPS Agreement. The aim of this paper is to raise the question of non-obviousness in US patent laws and EPO laws and to find out how straightforward they are in dealing with or granting a patent on subjects relating to biological objects or living organisms. In addition, in this paper the writers will also concentrate on the fundamental notions of novelty, usefulness and genetic modification with regard to the award of patents or the non-obviousness of biological processes.”

Keywords: Intellectual Property Rights, Bio-patent, Patent laws, Non-obviousness, European Patent Organisation, Genetic Engineering.