Legal, Commercial, Medical, Ethical and Environmental Aspects of Granting Patents for Biotechnological Innovations

Saeed Daryaee Bajhdad Abadi, Mohammad Hossain Ramazani Ghavam Abadi, Seyed Ghasem Zamani, Mehrzad Kiani


Biotechnology has many applications in environment (clean up or prevent its degradation), agriculture (increased efficiency and productivity), medical (new methods of treatment or new drugs) and various industries, including Oil industry (elimination of oil pollution), textile products (increasing the quality of textiles) and food industry (raising the quantity and quality of food). But there are also concerns relating to some unknown aspects, effects and consequence of biotechnology in a way that the long-term effects are not so clear on human health or on the environment in the agriculture and in the food industry on the health of consumers. For example, gene therapy and genetic drugs, can cause some genetic complications or biotechnological product may cause growth of useless or harmful like weeds resistant to pesticides and even pollute the environment by disrupting the function in agriculture. Of course to address this concern, there are some principles such as biological safety and the necessity assess the risks arising from the use of this product, and prudent use of these innovations on the domestic and international level. Ethical considerations and objections have been raised by the moralists in terms of loss of intrinsic value of life due to manipulate by biotechnology or threaten the dignity of living creatures with dominance and monopoly over them. These considerations will be strongly when we are confronted with the fact that the granting of monopoly to biotechnology can lead to the misuse of this knowledge against humans and other organisms. Of course, there are ways to prevent or address these abuses, including the abolition of the patent or parallel import of product or granting licenses to others. In addition, human rights lovers also believe that the granting of monopoly and patent to the achievements of this science is In some cases contrary to human rights So have objected to it. Like threaten the right to health and healthy food (in terms of risk to human health resulting from biotechnology. Threaten the right to work (due to market monopolization by big companies and unemployment and the gradual elimination of small farmers) and threaten the right to a healthy environment (due to possible adverse effects on the environment and biodiversity). Of course, these concerns can be reduced by international regulations such as the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. Another challenge is on how to prove damages resulting from biotech crops to the environment, people and their property and also proving the causal relationship between the biotech and damage is difficult because their harmful and unknown effects usually becomes apparent in long-term and this makes it hard to prove a causality relationship. Also in such damages, the best way of compensation (i.e. restore the former state) is difficult or impossible. Because the reproducibility of biotechnology can reduce the ability to control on extent of damage and the harmful effects. However, concerns have been reduced slightly by stipulating strict liability for the damage in international regulations.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Saeed Daryaee Bajhdad Abadi, Mohammad Hossain Ramazani Ghavam Abadi, Seyed Ghasem Zamani, Mehrzad Kiani

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