This chapter focuses on legal interpretation, reflecting on policy options between pluralism and harmonisation at two separate levels: (1) the desirability of establishing, or not, further harmonisation of interpretative rules, criteria and praxis in IP law; (2) whether internal harmonisation or systemic coherence between different areas of law and regulation that affect the same object or legal fact is a desirable interpretative objective in IP law. The point of departure for the analysis is biomedical innovation and digitalisation, using as examples technologies such as synthetic biology, 3D printing, and gene editing that present a multitude of horizontal challenges and consequently an opportunity for debating policy choices between ‘functional pluralism’ or ‘systemic coherence’. It is argued that emerging technologies do not necessarily require legal coherence, but systemic coherence can play an important role in legal responses to global technology-induced business models and social phenomena.
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