News & CommentBiotechnology

EU Ends 10-Year Battle Over Biopatents

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Science  22 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5367, pp. 1188
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5367.1188

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Helen Gavaghan Amid intense lobbying and appeals from opponents for more time, the European Parliament passed legislation last week that would make human gene sequences and transgenic plants patentable throughout the European Union (EU). These controversial provisions were included in the so-called "gene-patenting" directive, first introduced a full 10 years ago. Each member state must now redraft its national laws to comply with the directive, to ensure that there are no internal barriers in the EU's common market.