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Who owns the rights to the human body? It’s patently obvious

Palombi, L. (2011) Who owns the rights to the human body? It’s patently obvious. The Conversation, 31 May .

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Read the argument against the proposed legislation

Patents are only to be for granted inventions - that’s the intent of the Patents Act 1990, it has been the law for nearly 400 years, and it’s also what Article 27.1 of TRIPS says in black and white.

About 30 years ago, a new patent office practice was established by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the European Patent Office and the Japan Patent Office.

The change essentially meant that naturally occurring biological materials, such as DNA and amino acids or proteins, which have been isolated (removed from their natural environment), could be considered to be inventions.

This practice was subsequently adopted in Australia and its implementation resulted in the granting of thousands of patents over isolated biological materials from a variety of sources, including viruses, bacteria, human genome and plant genomes.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
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