UIC Review of Intellectual Property Law


Evan Tallmadge


What should not be patentable? The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (“TRIPS”) codifies certain categories of subject matter that nations can exclude from patent protection. This Article examines how nations have interpreted these exclusions through an analysis of their national manuals of patent examining procedure and more importantly what explicit exceptions to patentability these countries have listed. The Article proceeds to analyze both the similarities and differences in approaches towards exclusions that attempt to ban the same subject matter from patentability and differences in what countries have chosen to bar from patenting. The Article concludes with an argument for a harmonization of the international patent regime, noting how some countries have taken substantial liberties with the TRIPS language.