Die EU-Richtlinie für Genpatente - eine Rechtsvorschrift aus Sicht der Volkswirtschaftslehre
[The EU guideline for genetic patents - A statutory provision from the macroeconomic perspective]
The decisive statutory provision of the EU for patent protection of genetic engineering inventions is the "Directive 98/44/ EC on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions". Its objective is the encouragement of research and development in the biotech sector. The following exposition shows that the directive has two major flaws from the economist's point of view, which hinder the advancement of R+D in this sector. At first the directive makes no differentiation between basic knowledge and applications, although the access to basic technologies and gene data is essential for further progress of the whole sector. Secondly, the directive does not precisely determine the possible application width of a patent for a genetic invention. This has induced effects under which particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, the driving force of this young line of business, suffer.
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