Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Biomedical innovation is often rewarded by exclusive proprietary rights such as patents. In the case of gene editing, induced pluripotent stem cells, and three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting (here described as biomodifying technologies), the limitations of the patent system come into stark relief, generating both technical and political doubts. Generally, political and technological limitations are supposed to be solved with so-called good governance, based on some principles. We focus on three of such governance principles (participation, accountability, and transparency) to show how they have been weakened, instead of strengthened, by the current patent system. We demonstrate that although patent applications are submitted by both public and private players, the latter have imposed a growing dominance in gene editing, induced pluripotent stem cells, and 3D bioprinting, disseminating their aggressive and exclusive strategies. As a consequence, a logic of experimentality tends to prevail where the three fundamental governance principles fail to be enacted.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of World Intellectual Property

Publication Date





473 - 494