To what extent does the ruling of the Harvard Mouse
case affect other areas of societal decisions regarding genetically modified plants or animals?
The mouse confounds the House!" The Ottawa Citizen (14 December 2002) B7; BIOTECanada, News Release, "BIOTECanada responds to Supreme Court Decision on Harvard Mouse
Case" (5 December 2002) online: <http://www.newswire.ca>.
Consequently, the design of the scientific technique to create the Harvard mouse raises ethical questions: whether scientists should use biotechnology to create new life forms or alter existing ones.
The legal debate involving the Harvard mouse is primarily focused on whether life forms can be patented (or put another way, whether patent protection should be granted with respect to life forms).
The economic and ethical controversies of scientific developments such as the invention of a new life form like the Harvard mouse directly resulted in a new development in U.S.
for the scientific technique that created the Harvard mouse, which was the first patent issued in the U.S.
Soon thereafter, patent applications for the Harvard mouse were filed in Canada, Japan, and in Europe.
This is specifically a question of whether the Canadian Patent Act will allow a patent of the Harvard Mouse. It is a question of law, not of principle.
Most major industrial countries in the rest of the world have given a patent for the Harvard Mouse. Intellectual property (such as material protected by patents and copyrights) needs to be protected internationally in our globalized market.
Arguments Against Issuing a Patent for the Harvard Mouse
Looking at the story above of the making of the Harvard Mouse, the Patent Act, and the arguments for and against giving a patent, you decide whether you would give a patent.
In conclusion, the Harvard Mouse
case sets the stage for patent law into the twenty-first century.