Biotechnology and Intellectual Property Rights – College Essay Example
Biotechnology and Intellectual Property Rights – College Essay Example

Biotechnology and Intellectual Property Rights – College Essay Example

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  • Pages: 14 (3584 words)
  • Published: November 2, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
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The use of modern biotechnology and its applications involves various legal rights and responsibilities. For instance, a homeowner is legally entitled to possess, use, modify, destroy, transport, sell, or lease their house. However, there are laws and regulations that may impose restrictions on certain activities related to the house, such as painting it in different colors or running a business from home. Belongings consist of collections of legal rights, and the management of properties serves specific purposes within society. When we consider objects like land as properties, their status as belongings only exists in relation to individuals within society. Without people around, land would not be someone's property; it would simply be the land itself. To represent an individual's social and legal rights and responsibilities regarding the land, boundaries are established and structures like plants are created. Therefore, the concept of property e


ntails a three-way relationship between an object (such as land), an individual (whether it is a person, group of people or corporation), and society at large.

In order for evidence-based clinical practice to advance effectively, new ideas must continually be developed and improved upon. Intellectual property rights play a vital role in safeguarding bioinformation and biotechnology.However, the advancement and dissemination of information may be impeded by these rights. Companies in the biotechnology industry are not as knowledgeable or publicized about patents and copyrights compared to those in the information technology sector. Intellectual property (IP) encompasses various creative works that are granted property rights and protected by law. These assets include musical, literary, and artistic works, discoveries and innovations, as well as words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights, and trad

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secrets are examples of intellectual property. The legal principles governing intellectual property have evolved over centuries but the term "intellectual property" only gained common use in the 19th century and became popular in the United States during the late 20th century. The British Statute of Anne in 1710 is seen as the beginning of copyright law while patent law traces its origins back to the Statute of Monopolies in 1623."The term 'intellectual property' has been in use since 1888 when the Swiss Federal Office for Intellectual Property was established in Bern. In 1893, the administrative secretariats recognized by the Paris Convention (1883) and the Berne Convention (1886) merged and adopted the term 'rational belongings' as part of their new combined title, the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property. Later, in 1960, this organization relocated to Geneva and was succeeded by the establishment of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 1967 under an agreement as a United Nations agency.

It was only after these developments that the term 'intellectual property' began to be widely used in the United States, which had not previously been party to the Berne Convention. Its popularity increased with the passing of the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980.

The historical background of biotechnology and intellectual property rights traces back to Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603), who granted monopoly rights through royal grants rather than patents."Approximately 200 years after Elizabeth's reign, a patent emerged as a legal right granted to inventors for exclusive control over their mechanical or scientific inventions. This marked the evolution of patents from being privileges bestowed by royalty to becoming principles rooted in common-law philosophy.

In 1818, French philosopher

Benjamin Constant criticized the newly introduced concept of "rational property." The term "intellectual property" was first employed in an October 1845 Massachusetts Circuit Court opinion during the Davoll et al.v.Brown patent case. Justice Charles L. Woodbury advocated for safeguarding intellectual property as an individual's own creations and investments, likening it to owning wheat or livestock.

The notion that discoveries can be considered property dates back even further. Section 1 of the French law of 1791 affirmed that new discoveries belonged to their authors, who were granted patents for specified durations. A French writer named A. Nion discussed "propriete intellectuelle" in his book published in 1846, adding to the discourse surrounding intellectual property rights in Europe.The origins of the concept can potentially be traced back further with similarities to Jewish law, such as the principle of Hasagat Ge'vul (unjust encroachment) in the sixteenth century. This principle justified limited publishing rights for publishers but not authors. The Talmud and Shulchan Aruch also include prohibitions against mental offenses, which some interpret as forbidding theft of thoughts. However, this philosophy primarily focuses on fraud and misrepresentation rather than non-material possessions (Correa, 2001).

Intellectual Property (IP) aims to protect ideas and is important for this reason. There are four main types: patents for technical aspects of a product, trademarks for trader marks, copyright for creative material like music and literature, and design registration for visual appearance of a product. Copyright laws differ between countries.

In the UK, copyright originated from the Statute of Anne in 1709 and evolved with the passage of the Copyright Act in 1911.The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988 was effective until October 2003 when an EU directive

recognized electronic information and internet's impact on IP.Copyright law acknowledges creators as authors granting them control over distribution to prevent distortion by third parties.This text discusses copyright protection for various types of works, including literary works, artistic creations, and computer programs. In the UK, copyright is automatically granted upon the creation of an original work. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988 provides protection for scientific documents, computer programs, commercial papers, and song lyrics. However, it only protects the actual work itself and not the thought behind it. For example, while the thought of hip resurfacing is not protected by copyright, specific components like Birmingham Hip Resurfacing would be. Ownership remains with the original writer regardless of commissioning or freelancing arrangements.

According to the Act, literary works are protected for 70 years from when they were written or first published in the public sphere. Typographical arrangements in publications such as magazines have a duration of 25 years from the end of the calendar year of publication.

Before publication, a scientific paper can be registered for copyright protection that lasts for 70 years. Once published, copyright is transferred to the journal for 25 years; however, authors still retain certain rights such as being identified as the author and objecting to critical treatment of their work.Copying or displaying the work publicly without the owner's permission is considered an offense. It is important to note that copying for research or educational purposes does not violate copyright.

When submitting a manuscript for publication, publishers often require a transfer of copyright agreement. Even if a paper has multiple writers, the publishing house can register an individual right of first publication merchandise. This

protects the writer, editors, and publishing houses from copyright infringement if the manuscript is improperly duplicated after being published in a journal.

While writers are not obligated to transfer their copyright as a condition of publication, they must sign a formal statement allowing publication in the relevant journal. Publishing houses typically expect writers to confirm that their work is original and has not been previously published to avoid copyright violation prior to publication.

According to the UK Copyright Act of 1988, once the copyright is transferred to the publishing house, writers still retain moral rights over their work. Writers receive credit when their work is used by the publishing house and they have the right to reproduce their own papers as long as they acknowledge the publishing house and provide a citation to the original publication.

If a paper is included in a volume where the writer serves as an editor or author, most publishing houses require notification. Policies regarding electronic posters on websites may vary among publishing houses.Some publishing houses in the field of Biotechnology and Intellectual Property Rights allow authors to post pre-print posters on the internet with a link to their publication, giving them recognition. However, these publishing houses generally do not permit open access to the general public for published articles, restricting them only for educational purposes (Coriat and Orsi, 2001). In the United Kingdom, copyright is automatically granted upon creation of a work. To further validate this process, a copyright notice can be included which consists of the copyright symbol ©, the year of publication or writing, and the name of the owner. For example: Copyright © CB Hing 2007. Additional information like

'all rights reserved' or statements prohibiting unauthorized broadcasting, public performance, copyrighting or re-recording can also be added but are not necessary for establishing copyright ownership. If there is a dispute over copyright ownership, registering the work with the UK Copyright Service can strengthen one's claim. Supporting evidence such as earlier drafts, watermarks or electronic file comments along with any identifiable "footprints" like calculations or errors can also support a copyright claim (Crespi, 2000). When multiple authors are involved in creating a work together and jointly own its copyright, it should be agreed upon how joint ownership will be managed. The primary author retains rights to first publication and has discretion over taking their work with them if they leave. If one author leaves without joint ownership of copyright being resolved beforehand among remaining authors; then it must be decided what will happen to that portion of the copyright.
If a work is created during employment, the employer will own the rights. However, if the work is freelance or commissioned, the rights belong to the writer. After copyright expires, intellectual property rights are lost and the work becomes freely available in the public domain. The only exception in the UK is 'Peter Pan', which has indefinite copyright under the 1988 Copyright Designs and Patents Act. Any royalties from 'Peter Pan' go to Great Ormond Street Hospital. UK copyright law was changed in October 2003 due to a European Union directive on electronic information sharing. Copying for commercial purposes that generate income now requires consent from the copyright owner. Limited quantities of copying for educational purposes such as libraries are permitted without writer consent. Research documents can be

copied for scientific instruction, but copying documents for private patients with commercial intent is not allowed (Azoulay et al., 2007). Intellectual property rights apply internationally through agreements like the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works established in 1886. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) oversees its most recent version known as the Paris Act of 1971.Approximately 147 members of the World Trade Organization (source: have agreed to an act that safeguards the intellectual property rights of individuals residing in member states. Outside of these member states, protection is provided through a reciprocal agreement.

Financial incentives are associated with these exclusive rights, allowing owners of intellectual property to profit from their creations and providing a financial incentive to invest in intellectual property. In the case of patents, these incentives also cover associated research and development costs.

The presence of IP laws contributes significantly to economic growth. Economists estimate that about two-thirds of the value of large businesses in the U.S. can be attributed to intangible assets. "IP-intensive industries" generate 72 percent more value added per employee compared to "non-IP-intensive industries." A joint research project conducted by WIPO and the United Nations University found a positive correlation between strengthening the IP system and subsequent economic growth in six Asian countries.

However, models like the Nash equilibrium do not necessarily imply causation. The Nash equilibrium model predicts that patent holders prefer operating in countries with stronger IP laws.The economic growth resulting from a stronger IP system, as seen in Taiwan after the 1986 reform, can sometimes be attributed to an increase in capital stock from foreign direct investment (Mooney, 2000). In the field of plant sciences,

plant breeders' rights (PBR), also known as plant variety rights (PVR), refer to exclusive control granted to breeders of new plant varieties over propagating material (seeds, cuttings, divisions, tissue culture) and harvested material (cut flowers, fruit). The text discusses the requirements and process for obtaining these rights. According to Pushpagandhan (1996), breeders have the option to become the sole seller of a new plant variety or authorize others to do so. To qualify for these rights, a variety must meet specific criteria. Firstly, it must be new and not commercially available in the country for more than one year. Additionally, it must differ from other known varieties in important botanical features like color, height, and maturity. The variety should also demonstrate homogeneity with consistent characteristics across plants within it. Moreover, genetic stability is essential for maintaining consistent traits across generations or reproduction cycles. Furthermore, the breeder must assign an acceptable "denomination" or generic name for marketing purposes which will be used by all marketers of that variety (Warner, 2001).National offices typically evaluate submitted seeds that have been grown for one or more seasons to determine if they meet the criteria of distinctiveness, stability, and uniformity. If a plant variety passes these evaluations, exclusive rights are granted for a period of 20 years (or 25 years for trees and vines). To maintain these rights, breeders must pay annual reclamation fees. Breeders also have the option to enforce their rights legally and seek damages in cases of infringement.

Plant breeders' rights provide protections that differ from those offered by patent law. Farmers generally have the freedom to save and use their own seeds for planting purposes, but selling

seeds without permission from the breeder may not be allowed. On the other hand, breeders are free to use protected varieties to create new plant varieties or for experimental purposes. In situations where it is in the national interest and breeders are unable to meet demand, compulsory licensing may be implemented.

Influenced by notable figures such as Thomas Edison and Luther Burbank's widow, the United States introduced the Plant Patent Act in 1930.Plant patents offer a unique type of patent protection for asexually reproduced plant varieties (in the US). The French Government held a conference in Paris that focused on safeguarding new varieties, resulting in the formation of Union Internationale pour La Protection des Obtentions Vegetales (UPOV) and the development of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV Convention) in 1961. The primary objective of this convention was to guarantee that member countries acknowledged and granted exclusive rights to breeders of new plant varieties, based on standardized and clearly defined regulations. This convention has undergone revisions in Geneva in 1972, 1978, and 1991. Both the 1978 and 1991 Acts establish a minimum level of protection while allowing member states to consider their own national circumstances when forming legislation. According to the breeder's right specified by the 1978 Act, prior authorization from the holder is required for commercial selling, offering for sale, or selling propagating material of the protected variety. The 1991 Act includes more detailed provisions regarding acts involving propagating material that necessitate authorization from the breeder.In addition, the text emphasizes the importance of breeder's authorization in regards to activities involving harvested material and modern biotechnology. It states that certain provisions

are in place if a breeder has not had the opportunity to exercise their rights or if there is a potential "Omega Threat" situation.

For instance, a flower breeder in the Netherlands can prevent the importation of cut flowers from Egypt if their assortment is protected in the Netherlands but not recognized in Egypt. This is because they were unable to assert their rights in Egypt. Member states also have the choice to require breeder's authorization for actions related to products obtained directly from harvested material.

The UPOV Convention establishes a system of national treatment where citizens of any member state are treated as citizens of all member states when it comes to obtaining plant breeders' rights. It also establishes a priority filing system where an application filed in one member state sets a filing date for applications filed within one year by other member states.The UPOV Convention requires member states to enact legislation consistent with its requirements and submit it to the UPOV Secretariat for review and approval by the UPOV Council. The United Kingdom, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, and the United States have all passed legislation to provide protection to developers of novel, sexually reproduced plants. In 1984, the United States joined the UPOV Convention by implementing the Plant Patent Act and later adjusted the PVP Act to comply with UPOV requirements. Since then, the US Patent Office has granted patents for plants, including plant varieties, which serves as an additional means of protecting plant assortments in the USA. Australia enacted the Plant Variety Protection Act 1987 (Cth) and the Plant Breeders Rights Act 1994 (Cth), allowing for the patenting of plant varieties.In summary,

65 countries have signed the UPOV Biotechnology and Intellectual Property Rights Convention and implemented laws to protect plant breeders' rights. The WTO's TRIPs Agreement requires member states to provide protection for plant assortments through patents or a sui generis system, with most countries complying through UPOV Convention legislation. However, India's plant breeders' rights law is noncompliant according to the UPOV Council.

Biotechnology offers lucrative opportunities by creating new products through genetic engineering. Valuable biological resources are sought after, leading pharmaceutical, food, and seed companies to search globally for useful organisms such as soil microorganisms, animals, and even human genes. Unfortunately, these resources are often obtained without consent from the respective government. Intellectual property is recognized as knowledge that can be granted property rights by societies.HTMLand unified text:

These intellectual property rights (IPR) are given to individuals or organizations primarily for their creative works, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, and commercial symbols.

Examples of IPRs include patents, trademarks, copyrights, geographical indications, and trade secrets.

These rights enable the creation, use, and sale of a new product or technology for a specified period of time (e.g., 20 years), granted to the inventor or corporation filing on behalf of the inventor.

The existence of IPRs is justified by the concept of originality. If an industry cannot ensure returns on investments in technological development initially, it will not invest in it. This would hinder technological advancements from being achieved.

Patents and other IPRs address this fundamental market failure. If a product requires significant effort and research but can be easily copied, there won't be sufficient financial incentive to allocate resources for innovation (Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, 2002).

By granting temporary market exclusivity, patents

allow manufacturers to recover investment costs and generate profits (Katz, 2005).

In June 1980 in the US Ananda Chakrabarty received the first patent for a living organism.

The text discusses the significance of a bacteria known as Pseudomonas which was genetically modified to be more effective in cleaning oil spills. This breakthrough led to the expansion of patent applications for higher life forms. According to Crespi (2000), this decision played a crucial role in shaping patent law development and paved the way for patents on cell lines, genetically modified plants, and animals. Ehrlich and Ehrlich (1981) along with EFB (2001) state that certain countries have greater biodiversity wealth than others, which can be measured by the number of different plant and animal species present. Determining the ecological role of a species within an ecosystem can be challenging, but it is important to recognize that limited interactions with other species can result in less functional overlap. The value of biodiversity is underscored by its contribution to human societies through essential goods like medicines, food, and construction materials derived from natural ecosystems. These diverse ecosystems also provide vital life-support services without which our existence would cease. Some authors emphasize the economic benefits associated with preserving species due to their beauty, symbolic value, and intrinsic worth.
The instrumental value of biodiversity has been enhanced by technological advancements, particularly in biotechnology. These advancements have allowed the development of new products from existing natural resources. This increase in value can benefit developing countries with high levels of biodiversity economically. Indigenous communities have long recognized the extraordinary properties of biological resources and have utilized them for centuries. Recently, this traditional knowledge has gained commercial


Formal breeding programs have used conserved and developed assortments by farmers to create improved varieties with higher productivity or other desirable traits (Crespi, 2000). Defining traditional knowledge precisely is a challenging task. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), it encompasses tradition-based literary, artistic or scientific works; performances, innovations, scientific discoveries, designs, marks, names and symbols; undisclosed information; and all other tradition-based inventions and creative activities resulting from intellectual activity in various fields such as industry, science, literature or art (WIPO, 2001).This definition implies that it is important to include all types of traditional knowledge. Traditional knowledge can be formalized in various ways, such as through fabric designs, but there are cases where it is not formalized, like "tribal" or "indigenous" medicine (Correa, 2000). Considering traditional knowledge as an intangible part of a resource raises the question of whether it should be rewarded. To address this question, the example of plant genetic resources will be used. Research and development on plant genetic resources involves different stakeholders, including small farmers and seed companies. Small farmers contribute by continuously experimenting and improving the value of plant genetic resources through selecting the best-adapted varieties and innovating new production techniques. Research institutions utilize plant genetic resources for basic and applied research, including biotechnology, to enhance existing varieties and expand gene pools. Although research institutions often obtain materials from small farmers without payment, they participate in the market once an improved variety is commercialized. Seed companies can protect these improved varieties through plant breeders' rights or patents and gain benefits from them.Regrettably, the research efforts of small farmers are typically not rewarded with compensation for the value they have

contributed to these varieties.

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