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The Oxford Introductions to U.S. LawIntellectual Property$
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Daniel Hunter and Dennis Patterson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195340600

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195340600.001.0001

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(p.80) Three Patent
The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law

Dan Hunter

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains what patent is. Granting a patent involves a rigorous examination process that requires inventors or developers to (1) show that the invention is over a patentable subject matter, that it is (2) novel, (3) non-obvious, (4) useful, and that (5) the patent adequately discloses and enables the invention. The chapter cites an example where these five steps are examined in giving a patent to the inventor. It also examines areas of discontent concerning patents in medicine (where medical patents infringe on the right of the patient to receive treatment), in genetics (whether human genetic material is appropriate subject matter) or in agriculture (where patented seeds do not allow for reproduction and replanting). Theoretically, it is possible for a few powerful patent holders to cross-license their inventions and create a monopoly of the benefits arising from their inventions.

Keywords:   medical patents, patented seeds, human genetic material, cross-license

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