Industrial Property and Biotechnology
B. Zamola and Neda Matijević
Ministry of Economic Affairs, Zagreb, Croatia
Received October 17, 1994
Accepted January 28, 1995
The modern concept of industrial properly includes the following subjects: patent, utility model, industrial design and trade mark. Of special interest are the rights in biotechnology, where patent protection is specifically regulated. The roots of the present European Patent System draw back to 1953, when the first negotiations concerning a common European Patent System have been started. As the first result of these discussions, the socalled Slrassbourg Convention was signed in 1963, in which Article 2(b) is concerned with the area of biotechnology. The industrial property rights in biotechnology are constantly harmonized by WIPO (World Intellectual Properly Organization). In the International Patent Classification (IPC) the area of biotechnology is covered by the subclasses C12N through C12Q. Each non-living mailer obtained by biolcchnological processes can be patented. Microorganisms can be protected by patents too, but the deposit of the invented microorganism is obligatory al an official depository institution. The jurisdiction of the European Patent Organization (EPO) generally excludes plant and animal varieties from patent protection. The number of patents in the area of genetic engineering is growing faster than the total field of biotechnology, so that its portion of about 25 % at the beginning of the eighties has reached about 40 % in 1989, with an absolute number of 1000 patents.
Presented at the 2nd Croatian Congress of Food Technologists, Biotechnologists and Nutritionists, Zagreb, June15-17,1994