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Marta Díaz Pozo
This chapter provides a general introduction to the book. The chapter reviews the historical development of the biotechnology industry and the difficulties in applying conventional European patent law rules to genetic inventions. In particular, the chapter presents the concerns regarding the lack of industrial application of patent claims over isolated human DNA sequences and the importance of this requirement in the patenting of inventions concerning human genes.
Mary Guy and Wolf Sauter
Mary Guy and Wolf Sauter lay out the scope and historical development of EU Health Law and Policy. The analysis reveals three broad periods of development: up to 1992, when focusing on the four freedoms (goods, services, workers and capital) led to incremental legislative action on health; 1992–2007, from the adoption of an explicit health competence at an integrationist high-point in the early 1990s to the Lisbon Treaty in 2007; and 2007 onwards, where integration continues despite political malaise and an economic downturn. Guy and Sauter note that EU Health Law and Policy has moved beyond a ‘patchwork’ or ‘interface’ approach to a more coherent legal and policy domain, and also a subject for academic study in its own right.
Christian Koenig and Bernhard von Wendland
Regulation is the key to overcoming the tyranny of the marketplace in the pursuit of economic justice and welfare: it can prevent the abuse of economic dominance. Such abuse undermines a functioning market, the economic motor to producing welfare, sustainability and inclusiveness. Abuse of public capital is as omnipresent as the abuse of market dominance by private capital. The state can make major investments or compete with the private sector, or pick winners and subsidise them. Such interventions may be necessary e.g. to provide infrastructure. The wasteful allocation of public monies, however, can do immense harm: it can crowd out private investments, distort private incentives and help foreclosing markets. In any case, it deviates scarce funds from those who need them most. Therefore, regulation of state aid and public procurement is just as essential as regulation against the abuse of market dominance by private capital. State monopolies have been another public cause of economic exploitation until the recent past. Besides poor quality of service, consumer bondage within state monopolies used to entail much higher prices for services compared to liberalised markets in other jurisdictions. After liberalisation though, complex and well-adjusted regulation is crucial to induce functioning competition and to allocate the welfare benefits from liberalisation. Keywords: abuse of market dominance, liberalisation, state aid, states monopolies, regulation