Separation of Church and State While Promoting the Progress of Biotechnology and Modern Science: Does Morality Have Its Place in United States Patents?
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AbstractThis article rebuts a renewed interest by scholars in requiring the United States Patent and Trademark Office, an administrative arm of the government, to practice moral patenting through revisions in interpretations of either patentable subject matter or utility standards. If this administrative office adopts such a practice, however, it will disrupt the purpose of the Patents and Copyrights power “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.” Through an exploration of the decline of frivolous and injurious standard in patent law, all governmental arms in the United States are hesitant to bestow such broad discretion on the patent office. Declines in the application of similar standards in trademarks and copyrights, and with comparisons to the international approaches, the United States must not succumb to arbitrary judgments based on morality when making patent decisions. Market and social pressures alone will keep immoral inventions at bay. With a focus on stem cells, genes, cloning and other inventions that patent life, the patent’s purpose is for the moral instruction of man, regardless of the moral debates that underlie those ideas. Let society then choose to reward those innovations that it feels is moral with profits, not have useful, patentable inventions faltered and sifted off by an arbitrary examiner at the patenting stage. Strict separation from moral decision-making is the only way to promote the progress of Modern Science.