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Intellectual Property and Health Technologies

Balancing Innovation and the Public's Health

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2. Auflage, 2013

Intellectual Property and Health Technologies

Balancing Innovation and the Public's Health


Joanna T. Brougher, Esq., MPH



At first glance, ownership of intellectual property seems straightforward: the control over an invention or idea. But with the recent explosion of new scientific discoveries poised to transform public health and healthcare systems, costly and lengthy patent disputes threaten both to undermine the attempts to develop new medical technologies and to keep potentially life-saving treatments from patients who need them.


Intellectual Property and Health Technologies grounds readers in patent law and explores how scientific research and enterprise are evolving in response. Geared specifically to the medical disciplines, it differentiates among forms of legal protection for inventors such as copyrights and patents, explains their limits, and argues for balance between competing forces of exclusivity and availability. Chapters delve into the major legal controversies concerning medical and biotechnologies in terms of pricing, markets, and especially the tension between innovation and access, including:


  • The patent-eligibility of genes
  • The patent-eligibility of medical process patents
  • The rights and roles of universities and inventors
  • The balancing of access, innovation, and profit in drug development
  • The tension between biologics, small-molecule drugs, and their generic counterparts
  • International patent law and access to medicine in the developing world


As these issues continue to shape and define the debate, Intellectual Property and Health Technologies enables professionals and graduate students in public health, health policy, healthcare administration, and medicine to understand patent law and how it affects the development of medical technology and the delivery of medicine.

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