Establishment of National Patent Regime on Biotechnology
In 2007, the Iranian parliament decided to exclude genetic resources, genetic materials and biological processes for their production from the Iranian industrial property regime by adding article 4(d) to the Patent, Industrial Designs and Trademarks Act. During the ratification, this rule caused controversial debates between proponents and opponents of protecting biotechnology inventions. Proponents of article 4(d) considered the best choice to wait and see before taking a final decision. This was a wise choice in this context to review the literatures and different national, regional and international approaches on the issues of the patentability of genetic materials and biotechnology inventions enabled Iran to be aware of its specific needs and obligations on the subject; and to create a defensive protection regime of genetic resources.
In contrast, opponents of article 4(d) emphasize that the importance of biotechnology does not decrease and that more than enough information is available today to take an informed decision and tailor an adequate patent law applicable in this field. Concerning such a challenge, this paper analyzes the main approaches of the patent regimes with the goal of establishing a balanced regime on protection of biotech inventions as well as protection of genetic resources.