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Patents (Biological Materials)

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 24 September 1997

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade what research her Department has conducted into the benefits of granting patents on living biological materials. [16750]

Assuming general conditions for patentability are met, patent rights may be obtained for plant and animal materials under current United Kingdom legislation (The Patents Act 1977). This legislation has been in place throughout the development of the modern biotechnological industry in the United Kingdom.No specific research has been conducted. However, the industry has made significant progress in enhancing quality of life with medical advances in treatments for conditions such as Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Hepatitis B.