IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Intellectual Property Rights and Biotechnology: How to Improve the Present Patent System

Listed author(s):
  • Ignazio Musu

    (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)

This paper discusses the problems related to assigning or denying intellectual property rights to biotechnological innovation, with particular reference to agro-biotechnologies and the relations between developed and developing countries. There are two types of problems to consider. First, the aim of protecting property rights on innovations is to create incentives towards research and innovation in general, which in some cases may be beneficial to society, in others not so. If the assignment of an intellectual property right does not guarantee the potential beneficial use of new knowledge, not assigning rights would not prevent its potentially dangerous utilization. Secondly, the holder of an intellectual property right has a power of exclusion which limits access by others to the newly produced knowledge. However, the production of new knowledge is very often a process which starts from a base of existing knowledge. Hence, discouraging access to existing knowledge also means discouraging the process of producing new knowledge. Paradoxically then, in protecting intellectual property we obtain the opposite result to the one expected and desired. Moreover, the holder of an intellectual property right may end up with excessive market power when commercializing the innovation. This paper will try to show that these problems cannot be solved, as sometimes is suggested, by denying protection of property rights on innovations, but by improving the procedures for awarding these rights and accompanying them with other measures such as liability rules governing potential damage and also antitrust measures.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2005.83.

in new window

Date of creation: Jun 2005
Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2005.83
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Corso Magenta, 63 - 20123 Milan

Phone: 0039-2-52036934
Fax: 0039-2-52036946
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2005.83. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (barbara racah)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.