Scientists have long used patents to protect their inventions and allow them opportunities to commercialise their work. However, recent attempts to patent human gene sequences have raised questions over whether a sequence of DNA is an invention or a discovery and highlighted some of the challenges in assessing the patentability of biomedical developments. Proponents argue that we need biomedical patents to provide the incentive for innovation but others believe that they could stifle scientific progress. Recent controversies in cancer and stem cell research have highlighted the social and ethical, as well as the economic implications of biomedical patents.
Join our chair Professor Jackie Hunter (Chief Executive of the BBSRC) and expert speakers Professor Alan Ashworth (Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research), Dr Nick Bourne (Cardiff University Commercial Development) and Dr Berwyn Clarke (Biomedical Entrepreneur) as we investigate the role of patents in biomedical discovery and invention.
This TalkScience event is part of Beautiful Science, a free exhibition at the British Library which explores how picturing scientific data can provide new insight into our lives, our origins and our planet. The exhibition and events season run from 20 February until 26 May 2014. See all events.