Exploiting abstract possibilities: A critique of the concept and practice of product patenting [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 17 (3):275-291 (2004)
Developments in biotechnology and genomics have moved the issue of patenting scientific and technological inventions toward the center of interest. In particular, the patentability of genes of plants, animals, or humans and of genetically modified (parts of) living organisms has been discussed, and questioned, from various normative perspectives. This paper aims to contribute to this debate. For this purpose, it first explains a number of relevant aspects of the theory and practice of patenting. The focus is on a special and increasingly significant type of patents, namely product patents. The paper provides three general arguments against the concept and practice of product patenting. The first argument briefly considers the claim that patents are legitimate because they promote socially useful innovation. Against this claim, it is argued that product patents may hamper rather than promote such innovation. The second and main argument concludes that product patents are not adequately based on actual technological inventions, as they should be according to the usual criteria of patentability. The principal moral issue is that product patents tend to reward patentees for inventions they have not really made available. The final argument proposes a method for patenting the heat of the sun. Assuming that granting this patent will be generally considered absurd, the argument exposes a further, fundamental problem of the concept and practice of product patenting.
|Keywords||(product) patents biotechnology and genomics experimental science and technology reproducibility of inventions|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Hans Radder (2013). Exploring Philosophical Issues in the Patenting of Scientific and Technological Inventions. Philosophy and Technology 26 (3):283-300.
Similar books and articles
Baruch A. Brody (2007). Intellectual Property and Biotechnology: The European Debate. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 17 (2):69-110.
Rogeer Hoedemaekers & Wim Dekkers (2001). Is There a Unique Moral Status of Human DNA That Prevents Patenting? Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 11 (4):359-386.
Stephen E. Wear, William H. Coles, Anthony H. Szczygiel, Adrianne McEvoy & Carl C. Pegels (1998). Patenting Medical and Surgical Techniques: An Ethical-Legal Analysis. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 23 (1):75 – 97.
William B. Hurlbut (2005). Patenting Humans: Clones, Chimeras, and Biological Artifacts. Science and Engineering Ethics 11 (1):21-29.
Inmaculada Melo-Martín (2013). Patenting and the Gender Gap: Should Women Be Encouraged to Patent More? Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (2):491-504.
Miriam Bentwich (2012). It's About Scientific Secrecy, Dummy: A Better Equilibrium Among Genomics Patenting, Scientific Research and Health Care. [REVIEW] Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (2):263-284.
Karen Lebacqz (2001). Who ÂOwnsâ Cells and Tissues? Health Care Analysis 9 (3):353-368.
R. Stephen Crespi (2000). An Analysis of Moral Issues Affecting Patenting Inventions in the Life Sciences: A European Perspective. Science and Engineering Ethics 6 (2):157-180.
David B. Resnik (2001). DNA Patents and Scientific Discovery and Innovation: Assessing Benefits and Risks. Science and Engineering Ethics 7 (1):29-62.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads14 ( #131,432 of 1,681,636 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #183,751 of 1,681,636 )
How can I increase my downloads?