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Oliver Brüstle v. Greenpeace eV, Case C-34/10, CJEU (Grand Chamber), 18 October 2011

Type Judgment
Case number C-34/10


Patentability of biotechnological inventions, involving scientific research on human embryos. Dignity of embryos.  

Normative references

Art. 1 EUCFR 
Art. 2 EUCFR 
Art. 3 TEE  
Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions


1. According to the context and aim of the Directive 98/44/CE (on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions), any possibility of patentability is excluded when respect for human dignity could be affected. 

2. The use of biological material originating from humans must respect fundamental rights and, in particular, the dignity of the person. 

3. The patentability is excluded when it concerns the use of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes, the use of human embryos for purposes of scientific research, or when the patentability requires the prior destruction of human embryos. 

4. The use of human embryos for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes is patentable if applied to the human embryo and useful to it.