Tag Archives: patent law

Pacific Rim Treaty threatens public health: patent law and medical procedures – by Alexandra Phelan and Matthew Rimmer

November 27, 2013


photo credit: Pixabay

photo credit: Pixabay

Doctors, surgeons, and physicians around the Pacific Rim should be concerned by the proposals revealed by WikiLeaks in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

One of the most controversial features of the TPP is the proposal to provide for patent protection in respect of medical procedures. As Public Citizen observed, ‘Health providers, including surgeons, could be liable for the methods they use to treat patients.’ The civil society group noted: ‘Essentially, except for when a surgeon uses her bare hands, surgical methods would be patentable under the U.S. proposal.’

The TPP takes a broad approach to patents and medicine; lacks appropriate safeguards; and fails to address larger questions about equity, development, and human rights.

Such a measure could result in greater litigation against medical professionals; barriers to access to medical procedures for patients; and skyrocketing health costs.


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Inventing life: patent law and synthetic biology – by Matthew Rimmer and Alison McLennan

April 12, 2013

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patent law and synthetic biology

Synthetic biology may help us create artificial life, but how should we patent it? Wellcome Images

Recent paradigm shifts in biology have posed a number of challenges to intellectual property.  In the following article (originally published on The Conversation), Matthew Rimmer and Alison McLennan discuss the emerging field of synthetic biology in this context.


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