Patenting in Biotechnology

Patenting in all fields of technology follows the same criteria for all inventions like Novelty, non-obviousness and industrial applicability. As researches and inventions in biotechnology domain revolves around living organisms and genetic engineering, the criteria for getting patent i.e., novelty, utility, inventiveness and non-obviousness have been opening up new challenges. Identifying the characteristics of novelty and/or patentability in living beings is a mammoth tough task.

According to the Agreement on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement), patents are available for any invention in all fields of technology. However, the issue related patentability of the biological materials, isolated or derived from living organisms, has triggered extensive discussions. Some argue that such biological materials are mere “discoveries”, and therefore cannot be patented, while others argue that they are man-made “inventions”.