Melissa E. Horn


Increasing evidence suggests that the biotechnology industry's interest in generating revenue and the public's desire to obtain the best healthcare may be at odds. The patenting of genetic information is at the core of this debate. Most, if not all, of the products of the biotech industry's research are patentable. Historically, patents have been justified on the grounds that they are needed to create an incentive for researchers and companies to invest time and money in projects that have uncertain outcomes. In the biotechnology arena, patents do not simply encourage innovation and allow innovators to recoup their costs. Patents can also limit the public's access to valuable information that could benefit individuals and society. This Note argues that current patent laws are not socially beneficial when applied to biotechnology products.