Recent European decisions have provided much to think about for practitioners concerned with DNA sequences. Caroline Pallard and Bart Swinkels investigate.
Industrial application is one of the requirements of a European patent (EP). Subsequently, the EC Biotech Directive 98/44 provided more explanation of the concept of industrial application of DNA sequences: the industrial application of a DNA sequence must be disclosed in the application. A DNA sequence without indication of a function is not a patentable invention. If a protein is to be produced, its function should be defined in the application.
Several EP case law decisions issued on industrial application of DNA sequences-related inventions shed new light on the concept of ‘function’ when applied to a protein/corresponding DNA sequence.
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DNA sequence, ECJ, Myriad, Monsanto