Biotechnology and Intellectual Property Rights

Biotechnology is a field where technology advances rapidly but returns on investments may be slow. For this reason, it is important for public research organisations and enterprises to protect the innovation that they generate with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), which provide a basis for return on investment in research and development, by granting monopoly rights for a certain period of time to their owners. The IP created by biotechnology companies that can take a number of different forms, consisting of vaccines, seeds, plants, medical devices and software, but also brands and domain names, among others. Most of these different assets may attract more than one form of IP protection. In the biotechnology sector the most relevant form of IP are patents, although other forms are also applicable and used in practice.

  • Patents
  • Plant Breeder’s Rights and Farmer’s Variety Act
  • Copyrights
  • Trade Secrets

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