In reflecting on the appropriateness of DNA patenting, it is necessary to consider whether the law really is in need of reform. Is there really a problem with DNA patenting and, if there is, couldn’t we simply leave it to the market to sort this problem out for itself? My argument in this article is that we must have some knowledge about how the market is dealing with DNA patenting: we need to explore the evidence. Reform of the law must be considered against the backdrop of practical real world events as well as policy, theory and doctrine. This article provides an historical account of the body of evidence that has emerged over the past decade or so on the consequences of allowing DNA patents, including recent work undertaken by myself and my research team focusing specifically on the Australian biotechnology industry. This article is intended to provide a reference point for a follow-on special issue of this journal: The Role of Law in DNA Patenting.
PhD (Biology, Dalhousie University, Canada)
LLM (UTas) Professor Centre for Law and Genetics Law Faculty University of Tasmania.
© 2011 Journal of Law, Information & Science and Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania.