Medical Patent Law – The Challenges of Medical Treatment

Medical Patent Law – The Challenges of Medical Treatment

Eddy D. Ventose

This book provides a detailed and comparative examination of medical patent law and the issues at the heart of the medical treatment exclusion for therapeutic treatments, surgical treatments and diagnostic methods.

Foreword

Eddy D. Ventose

Subjects: law - academic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical law, health law, intellectual property law

Extract

Since its inception in the Statute of Monopolies, modern patent law has been remarkably adroit in adapting to the changing needs of inventors and industry. But changes in innovation and in the developed economies over the last 50 years have arguably put more acute pressures on the conceptual framework of the law than any it has encountered in its history. Those pressures have revealed how fragile are some of the distinctions – such as that between invention and discovery – that patent law has always taken for granted. They have pushed policy makers and lawyers back to the much contested, and often contradictory, justifications for the grant of the patent monopoly, even though those justifications have often had to be retrofitted onto the existing structures of the law. One of the interesting things about those pressures is that they have often brought into the spotlight curious byways of the law; they have made issues that might once have been thought to be of merely scholarly interest commercially vital. It is in the consideration of these issues that the contradictions of patent law and policy have often become most plain. In this way, enormous changes in the economics of the health system, in the way in which doctors regard their professional calling, and in patterns of healthcare innovation, together with contemporary expectations that all (or at least most) innovation should be rewarded, have put huge strain on the exclusion from patentability (however technically it may be achieved) of methods of...