Standard Article

Patent Issues in Biotechnology

  1. Lionel Bently1,
  2. Brad Sherman2,
  3. Stephen Hubicki2

Published Online: 15 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005189.pub2



How to Cite

Bently, L., Sherman, B. and Hubicki, S. 2009. Patent Issues in Biotechnology. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

  2. 2

    University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2009


In both European and US law, biotechnological products may be patented if they fulfil the normal requirements of patent law that they are novel, nonobvious and useful for industry. In practice this means that biological molecules, including genes, that have been isolated from nature and are susceptible of industrial application are capable of protection, as are processes of isolating and purifying biological molecules.


  • patents;
  • discoveries;
  • novelty;
  • obviousness;
  • utility;
  • ethical aspects