"This paper is being distributed to representatives of the Canadian biotechnology community in order to generate a discussion about patenting biotechnology in Canada. It is hoped that readers will come forward with their reactions to the paper as well as other comments they might wish to make on this important subject.
Most industrial countries now recognize the great growth potential in biotechnology. Many countries are already investing heavily in this field and some governments have adopted programs specifically intended to promote the exploitation of biotechnology within their territories.
Canada cannot afford to fall behind in this expanding new field. Certain steps have already been taken to promote biotechnology in this country, notably the adoption of the National Biotechnology Strategy. However, major decisions remain to be made, particularly on the application of our patent legislation to biotechnology."