chapter  5
34 Pages

Patent Law Criteria and Biotechnological Inventions

Biotechnological inventions, in particular genetic engineering, involves the discovery of new biological processes or the alteration of existing ones. The basis of many biotechnological inventions is informational. The description of a biotechnological invention, therefore, focuses on a modification of existing complexity. Man’s inability to create living matter per se shows the limited understanding man has of living processes. If the day arrives when man can fully understand the complexity of living matter and how it is created, then a description of biotechnological inventions may be grounded in terms of the organizational principles of living matter. However, until that day arrives, descriptions of biotechnological inventions will be based on approximations of such organizational principles.1 That is to say, biotechnological inventions are likely to be defined more appropriately in functional or informational terms rather than structure. In this sense in particular, biotechnological inventions have proved challenging for the disclosure requirement of patent law.