PatentEthics – Ethical dimensions of patent law in non- human biotechnology

New: Report from the International workshop on Responsiveness in European patenting practices.

Patent law is designed to protect inventors’ rights to reap the benefits of their inventions. However, patent law was not originally designed for biotechnology, and patenting in biotechnology has caused ethical concerns. The PatentEthics project scrutinises the ethical concerns related to patenting in non-human biotechnology and studies how the current system for patent protection in Norway may accommodate such concerns in principle and in practice.

The project:

  • critically assesses ethical implications of current legislation and institutional practices for patent protection of non-human biotechnological inventions in Norway
  • applies legal analysis of the relevant parts of patent law in Norway and in the European Patent Organisation
  • studies relevant institutional practices
  • conducts ethical analysis of these relevant parts of patent law as applied to biotechnology
  • conducts two in-depth case-studies from aquacultural biotechnology
  • organises deliberative processes with relevant stakeholders and experts
  • considers the potential implications of the currently important notion of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) for patenting practices in biotechnology
  • provides constructive suggestions for a patent regime (i.e. patent legislation and institutions) that may take ethical implications of specific cases into account, based upon broadened understanding, ethical reflection and better collaboration between relevant sectors and actors.

The PatentEthics project is funded by the Research Council of Norway’s ELSA programme, for the period 20113-2016. HiOA/The research group on responsible innovation is the project leader and partners in the project are Nofima, Fritjof Nansens Institutt and the University of Twente.


Recent events:

International workshop on Responsiveness in European patenting practices, Munich, May 24-25 2016

Åpent møte på Litteraturhuset 3. desember 2015: Går vi på et etisk nederlag i patentpolitikken?