This title was first published in 2000. This work documents an international and interdisciplinary workshop on the ethical aspects of the patenting of biotechnological inventions, including genes, plants and animals. The public perception is discussed, along with how these perceptions relate to ethical, social and cultural factors. The legal framework in Europe is laid out by several experts in the field of patent law and the situation in the US is also briefly described. This edition also includes a general discussion of three important theories called upon to justify the patent system: the natural rights argument; the distributive justice argument; and the utilitarian argument. The chapter about the European Directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions has been updated. A selection of provisions from the August 1997 draft as well as the final text of the Directive, as adopted on 12 May, 1998, are discussed and commented upon. The patent provisions of the TRIP's Agreement (the Agreement on Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property rights, concluded in 1994 as an Annex to the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization) are also discussed and criticized, paying particular attention to the implications for biotechnology patents. Finally, the question is asked whether the developing countries stand to gain anything from TRIPs. A look at the results of empirical research, conducted by commentators on the economics of patenting, reveals that the new patent regime may prove to entail significant costs for the developing countries. This second edition also contains material on the EU Directive on biotechnology patents adopted in May 1998, justificatory theories of the patent system and the TRIP's agreement on Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property rights, concluded in the GATT (WTO) framework.
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