Patenting biotech inventions

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The mere identification of the genetic information from a gene is not patentable because the gene is naturally occurring and at this stage there is no human intervention or input.

BY P. KANDIAH & SHARMILA PALANYANDY

IN recent years, research and development in biotechnology field, especially in medicine and agricultural biotechnology is emerging rapidly. Researchers are encouraged to patent their inventions in order to commercialise their inventions and enjoy the benefits obtained thereafter.

Mostly, biotechnology inventions are associated with materials present in nature which require intervention of human being. For example, if the invention is related to Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), it needs intervention of human being to utilise genetic engineering techniques whereby genes are modified in order to produce altered genetic
information which will be functionally and structurally different from the genes present in nature.

The mere identification of the genetic information from a gene is not patentable because the gene is naturally occurring and at this stage there is no human intervention or input.