The question of when biotech inventions should be patented is still a controversial issue. In particular, with the emergence of patent claims over isolated portions of genetic material without a clear definition of their practical applications, the patent law requirement of industrial applicability has suddenly gained a prominent role in the determination of the patentability of biotechnological inventions. To address this issue, the European Biotech Directive, and subsequently the European Patent Convention, has incorporated provisions establishing a more stringent approach towards the criterion of industrial application in biotechnology. This new approach has fuelled the development of a growing body of case law. It has reinforced the role of the requirement of industrial application in Europe biotech patenting and also revived discussions about its fundamental rationale, objectives and relationship with other requirements in European patent law such as the exclusions of discoveries and immoral inventions, inventive step, and enabling disclosure. Nonetheless, this stricter interpretation of the industrial application requirement has also raised questions on the advantages and disadvantages of such approach, let alone concerns about discrimination issues.