Patents the question of ethics essay

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Patents the question of ethics essay

Ethical issues in patenting scientific research pp. Council of Europe, Macer Summary This paper is included in the session titled "Research", a topic perhaps more suited to the issue of patenting than that of the session on "Industry" which follows, although this is a sign of the times.

Patents the question of ethics essay

We live in the s and not the s. We have seen the growth of patent applications by academic and public sector researchers to a point where they may out number those of industry applicants, especially in the case of biotechnology.

The trend towards commercialised science is symbolised by the U. Congress which decided that publicly funded science should be commercialised, and during the s intellectual property rights were decentralised from government to research institutions to create commercial incentives.

This trend has become world-wide. Ethically we can start by asking rather simple questions, is the principle of beneficence, or loving good, served more by having research than by not having research, and do we encourage more research into more beneficial areas of science by the incentive system of patents than we would by not having patents?

We will also consider whether other ethical principles such as justice and doing no harm are served by systems of intellectual property protection. Ethically can anyone own a product of their mind, a product of nature, a product of a designed process, a discovery or even an invention?

Does it make any difference whether the product or process involves living organisms or rocks? Should we expect the practical law to share the same goals as that of ethics, namely can we expect ideal ethical laws or some compromise?

In this paper I will first review intellectual property protection, and secondly, discuss the ethical arguments related to patenting in biotechnology research.

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Intellectual Property Protection There are several systems of intellectual property protection designed to reward inventors. To qualify for a patent an invention must be novel, non-obvious and useful.

Industrial competitiveness leads to secrecy, and results may not be published at all if a company does not think they can keep the benefits to themselves from the research costs invested, or the money used to purchase the rights to the use of results of research from a university research team.

A patent guaranties the publication of the results and the deposit of the product in a central repository, for use in the future development of research to create better inventions. The closing of results from other workers is against the principle of scientific openness, but is a common feature of certain forms of industrial research, especially when the process used to create a product may be expected to be kept a secret for some years.

However, with biotechnology inventions, once the product is sold, the DNA can be sequenced and reproduced by another team of researchers. Specific techniques, such as nuclear transfer or cell manipulation techniques may be keep secret a little longer, but still tend to be made open through the patent system.

Patents can generally be sought either on products or processes used to manufacture the product. It is easier to obtain a process patent, but it has been harder to prove that a competitor is using your process, as access to their production facilities may be restricted.

If the claimed invention is the next, most logical step which is clear to workers in that field, than it cannot be inventive in the patent sense.

Patents the question of ethics essay

If a protein sequence is known, than the DNA sequences that code for it will not in general be patentable, unless there is a sequence which is particularly advantageous, and there is no obvious reason to have selected this sequence from the other sequences that code for the protein Carey and Crawley, In the case of natural products there are often difficulties because many groups may have published progressive details of a molecule or sequence, so it may have lost its novelty and nonobviousness.

These are essentially short pieces of the human genome. However, the genomics companies like TIGR have applied for patents on previously published sequences from databases, and the policy seems to be emerging.

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There are also patents on protein molecules which have medical uses. In this case the protein structure is patentable if it, or the useful activity, was novel when the patent was applied for.

The invention must also be commercially useful.Sometimes referred to as micro ethics, these topics concern the interactions and individual actions of scientists and engineers in their research and practice, and cover responsible conduct of research.

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Ethics essays are a thinking man’s forte. For example in a business ethics essay, the writer could examine the code of business ethics in terms of origin and relevance. This aspect of an medical ethics essay is a double-edged sword.

An medical ethics essay could overwhelm a novice. Presentation in ethics papers is the key to getting high grades. I. Eliezer Yudkowsky’s catchily-titled Inadequate Equilibria is many things.

It’s a look into whether there is any role for individual reason in a world where you can always just trust expert consensus.

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Essay on Ethics - Samples & Examples