Transposing Directive 98/44, July 6th, 1998, concerning the juridical protection

The directive adopted on July 6th, 1998, concerning the juridical protection of biotechnological inventions, should have been transposed by States members on July 30th, 2000, at the latest. Yet, in autumn 2002, six member States had transposed the directive into their home law. In France as in some other countries, a strong reluctance to transpose this text has surfaced ; its adoption had already given rise to nearly ten years of proceedings and debates. If the reasons for this reluctance are analysed, it appears that criticism of the directive takes from a misunderstanding of patent rules, fed by a questioning of the part of juridical rules in regulating the technologies of the living, as much as it takes from ignorance of the concerned practices. Concerning the reservations shown by the research sphere in France, it must be understood that they probably are a sign of a culture change in researcher’s’ world that they still do not admit, and that, as it modifies the scientist’s importance within the innovation process, gives new contours to the legitimacy they can claim towards society. The patent would have then become, not so much an instrument for encouraging innovation, but a sign for a change of paradigm in scientific research. The transposition of directive 44/98, July 6th, 1998, crystallises that realisation. –Summary AFRI-2003