This book addresses Synthetic Biology (SynBio), a new and promising biotechnology that has attracted much interest from both a scientific and a policy perspective. Yet, questions concerning the patentability of SynBio inventions have not been examined in detail so far; as a result, it remains unclear whether these inventions are patentable on the basis of current norms and case law.
The book addresses this question, focusing especially on the subject matter’s eligibility and moral criteria. It provides an overview of the legislation and decisions applicable to SynBio patents and examines this new technology in view of the ongoing debate over the patentability of biotechnologies in general.
The legal analysis is complemented by the practical examination of several patent applications submitted to the European and US patent offices (EPO and USPTO), and by an assessment of the patent issues that are likely to be raised by future SynBio developments.