Enabling biotechnological inventions in Europe and the United States
PhD student: Mr S. Bostyn
Promotors: Prof H.J. de Kluiver, Prof J.J. Brinkhof
PhD defence: Maastricht, 19/3/2001
Biotechnology is the science of the future. This thesis investigates the conditions that apply to patenting DNA sequences and proteins. It also asks the even more important question of the scope of the protection provided by patents in this field. Considering the huge investments required in order to put biotechnological products on the market, there is a strong tendency to apply for very wide patents, where these patents are supposed to cover a great number of applications. This policy may in certain cases cause conflicts with the central requirement of publication of the invention in the patent application. It is important to maintain the balance healthy competition and the monopoly of patents. To be able to do this, we need to know when a description is sufficiently detailed. The present study offers a number of criteria. The conclusion is that it is wise not to allow patent applicants to merely describe a number of general issues, while the intention is to protect a large number of applications that have not been described.