The European Group on Ethics is a neutral, independent, pluralist and multidisciplinary body, composed of fifteen experts appointed by the European Commission for their expertise and personal qualities. The Group receives requests from the President of the Commission (and the Council or Parliament) to draft opinions on ethical issues primarily related to science and new technologies. In the last few years the group has provided the Commission with its Opinions on topics as diverse as synthetic biology, new development in agriculture and the cloning of animals for food. It has also provided guidelines for the use of human embryonic stem cells in EU funded research projects. All of these involve intellectual property issues, and the group has identified many issues that link new biological advances and IP. Julian Kinderlerer was one of the rapporteurs for the Opinions on the ethics of Synthetic Biology and for that on Agriculture. As an annex for the Opinion on Synthetic Biology a paper was produced by the unit looking at patents in biology. A copy of the paper can be downloaded here – (The Patent System_JK). Julian will be in Singapore next week (26-27 July 2010) to present the Opinion on Synthetic Biology to the 8th Global Summit of National Bioethics Advisory Bodies.