From Antiquity to the COVID-19 Pandemic is a comprehensive collection of varied sources illustrating how intellectual property has evolved in the context of medicines and access to health since Greek and Roman Antiquity. Intellectual property as applied to medicines and access to health has been the subject of much controversy around the globe, and it has been used by entrepreneurs as a tool for ensuring success in their commercial activities. This has led to the emergence of a special set of legal principles and rules that characterize the intellectual property of medicines and to a large extent make it different from those rules and principles that apply to intellectual property in other fields of business and invention. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the tensions inherent in the interface of proprietary medicines and the strong reaction of society at large in respect of pharmaceutical inventors and rights holders. As this book shows, these tensions have persisted since ancient times.
What’s in this book:
Revealing two major lines of tension—trademarks versus generic designations and patents versus trade secrets—the book deals with such aspects of the special intellectual property of medicines and access to health as the following:
- the question of whether inventions that are crucially important to save lives should be left in private hands to be exploited with a view on profitability;
- prohibiting the use of trademarks to designate certain medicines;
- loss of distinctiveness of some well-known pharmaceutical trademarks;
- sanitary authorities as a parallel trademark and patent office;
- requirement of higher distinctiveness for pharmaceutical trademarks—the so-called duty of greater care;
- use of secrecy to secure private interests in pharmaceutical inventions;
- granting prizes and awards to inventors instead of acknowledging private proprietary rights in pharmaceuticals; and
- protecting inventions in times of epidemics.
The sources—along with headnotes and a deeply informed preamble—clearly illustrate how society has constructed intellectual property in association with medicines to adapt it to the needs of entrepreneurship and free trade, and, at the same time, accommodating it to the imperatives of public health.
How this will help you:
Illustrating the ingenuity and acumen of entrepreneurs in securing rights in their intangible assets, the book provides the readers with access to detailed information on how a formal legal regime concerning the protection, acquisition and testing of secret medicines has developed between the seventeenth and the nineteenth centuries. Practitioners in intellectual property law and healthcare law, academics, magistrates and medical professionals will have a better sense of how the imperatives of public health have designed and continue designing the norms and principles of intellectual property especially adapted to the social goals it serves.
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Table of Illustrations
The Business Identifiers of Medicines and Access to Health
The Private Appropriation of Pharmaceutical Knowledge (Patents, Trade Secrets, Printing Privileges)
Credits and Sources of Texts and Illustrations