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Patenting bioprinted structures in a clime of moral uncertainty: time to amend the patents act?


Adesanya, OO, Patenting bioprinted structures in a clime of moral uncertainty: time to amend the patents act?, Australian Intellectual Property Journal, 29, (4) pp. 222-238. ISSN 1038-1635 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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The role of morality in Australia's patent regime has remained largely uncertain owing in part to a general reluctance to engage with the "general inconvenience" proviso. The prevailing view is that matters of morality and indeed ethics are within the exclusive purview of the legislature. Unfortunately, despite repeated attempts at law reform, the situation remains largely unchanged. Drawing from the words of the Australian Law Reform Commission in its 2004 Genes and Ingenuity Report, it appears there has been no compelling case for amending the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) to allow expressly for the exclusion of particular subject matter from patentability on social or ethical grounds. More than a decade on, the question is whether this statement holds true. Accordingly, this article evaluates the current ethical exclusions in Australia's patent regime in light of the dilemma posed by patenting bioprinted structures and considers whether this presents a compelling enough case for the amendment of the Patents Act 1990.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia, bioprinting, D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc, ethics, general inconvenience, health technologies, morality, patents
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Private law and civil obligations
Research Field:Intellectual property law
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Adesanya, OO (Dr Olumayowa Adesanya)
ID Code:135332
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2019-10-14
Last Modified:2020-01-21

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