Nanopatents and Their Impact on the Medical Environment
Journal international de bioéthique = International journal of bioethics 2011 Mar-Jun; 22(1): 119-33, 213-4
The nano-medical field is seen, by governments as well as the business sector as a very promising one. The process of converting basic research in nano-medecine into commercially viable products has already begun, even if it might be long and difficult. Part of the difficulties that could occur comes from regulatory and safety issues. Some of them are also coming from patent uncertainty in the global nanotechnology field. Indeed, the rush towards patents in the nanotechnology arena has already begun. Nano-patents are about to alter the legal landscape of the innovation economy, of research and development, and of industry--no doubt to an unprecedented extent because of the scope covered by these technologies. From a global point of view, the very delineation of the scope of nanotechnologies confronts patent law with complex problems of definition. The emergence and characteristics of this technology are also giving rise to a reassessment of the criteria for patentability that could be prejudicial to innovation. In the medical environment, this issue is even exacerbated in the real challenges which pharmaceutical companies are running up against.
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