Table of Contents

The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Biotechnology Innovation

The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Biotechnology Innovation

Edited by David Castle

Intellectual property rights (IPRs), particularly patents, occupy a prominent position in innovation systems, but to what extent they support or hinder innovation is widely disputed. Through the lens of biotechnology, this book delves deeply into the main issues at the crossroads of innovation and IPRs to evaluate claims of the positive and negative impacts of IPRs on innovation.


Tania Bubela

Subjects: environment, biotechnology, innovation and technology, biotechnology, law - academic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical law, intellectual property law


Tania Bubela The chapters in this part discuss the wider social context in which scientists and industry create and distribute innovation. They explore policy options for intellectual property rights (IPRs) selected by public institutions and governments to manage innovation in biotechnology at institutional, national and international levels and the economic, social and ethical goals of IPRs as a component of innovation governance. The chapters consider whether the stated goals are being met, using empirical evidence, where possible, and potential IPR policy formulations that may maximize economic and social benefits flowing from biotechnology innovation. Public opinion, our ability to regulate the use of technology and other concerns all play a role in shaping what innovation occurs and how it is introduced. Tim Caulfield’s chapter analyses the problems surrounding public trust both in biotechnology research and in the products of biotechnology. Maintaining public trust is crucial for any kind of research, especially biomedical research, because of the need for dedicated public funds over the long term. Rightly or wrongly, biotechnology patents have become a flashpoint for the public as well as being the focus of policy debates as a proxy for more general concerns about commercialization of biomedical research. If we probe this generalized public angst around commodification of biomedical research, public survey data suggest that people are concerned about patenting life and the issue of access to technologies. There is a plethora of evidence that public trust in biomedical research is very fragile and that the research is carried out without...