It is widely recognized that scientific and technological innovations are key to industrial and economic development of a country. Innovations, however, must be protected, usually through patent or copyright laws, before they can be marketed globally. Thus sensible patent laws, and their legal enforcement, are important for the advancement of economic and industrial development. Patent laws, as mentioned here, are complex and subjective, so that patent infringement cases are plentiful and often unpredictable. Given the rapid advancements of the science of genetics and biotechnology during the last 30 years, and the propensity to create intellectual property out of a bourgeoning field of science, many interesting cases have been decided in the courts of law or have been subjects of deliberations in the legislative bodies of individual countries. This article summarizes some of the interesting court cases involving genetics and biotechnology, mainly in the United States, and points to some of the differences between the judicial systems in Europe and in the United States, concerning both intellectual property laws and the concept of morality and public order, as well as their impacts on our society.
Keywords: Doctrine of equivalents, genetic testing, human-animal hybrids, inherent anticipation, intellectual property, patent infringement