Articles on Patent law

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Stop printing all over my patent. Enrique Dans/flickr

How 3D printing threatens our patent system

Copyright law had to figure out how to deal with digital media. Now 3D printers – and their capacity for infringement – are poised to challenge the patent system in a similar way.
Trade minister Andrew Robb attends negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership in Sydney last year. Dan Himbrechts/AAP Image

How the battle over biologics helped stall the Trans Pacific Partnership

Over the next few weeks, the trade minister will be under intense pressure to renege on the government’s commitment to reject anything in the Trans Pacific Partnership that could undermine the PBS.
Challenges to the patents for BRCA mutation tests in Australia and the United States resulted in opposing conclusions. Christiana Care/Flickr

Gene patents may sound scary but soon they may no longer matter

Recent cases in Australia and the United States and a new case in Canada show how controversial the subject of gene patents is. But technological advances and the cost of patenting may soon mean gene patents…
A new US proposal aimed at combating patent trolls is not likely to be effective.

A quick-fix solution for patent ‘trolls’ probably won’t work

In the US this week there’s been another outbreak of proposals to fix the “patent troll” problem. A new bill from Representative Bob Goodlatte suggests changing the nation’s patent law to punish trolling…
Harder times ahead for Pfizer as Viagra patents end. Flickr/kosare

End of an era for Viagra as rivals get ready to raid market

Those for whom Viagra is indispensable might be a little surprised that the ubiquitous blue, diamond-shaped pill was a chance discovery by a group of research pharmaceutical chemists at Pfizer’s research…
A group of university researchers in Oklahoma are trying to patent a new cut of steak, which would provide their university with a healthy revenue stream if the patent is licensed to meat processors. Flickr\james c.

Everything but the squeal: researchers steak claim with beef patent

During the golden age of the unregulated food industry, Chicago slaughterhouses boasted that they processed every part of the animal except for the squeal. How times have changed: agricultural businesses…
Novartis sought to charge A$26,000 a year for its anti-cancer drug, compared with A$2,000 per year for a generic copy. ChrisGoldNY

India’s Novartis patent ruling puts health before profits

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis this week lost a seven-year legal battle over a drug patent in India. It’s certainly a win for those in India who use the drug, and for patients in India more generally…
“It seems patent trolls are here to stay, but that might not be the case for much longer.” K.G.Hawes

Podcasts are patented – or so say the patent trolls

Can podcasting be patented? If you are an instigator of what’s being referred to as the SHIELD Act – introduced into US Congress last month – the answer would seem to be no. If you represent a US company…
As the Indian delegate said, ‘If we don’t get cheap technology we will never be able to adapt to climate change’. But Doha was reluctant to discuss the matter. Danish Wind Industry Association.

The Doha deadlock: intellectual property and climate change

In November 2001, Doha hosted trade talks over intellectual property and public health. The discussions resulted in the landmark Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health. The Doha Declaration…
The government has launched several inquiries into patent law and pharmaceutical drugs. Daniel Weir

Julia Gillard, Big Pharma, patent law and public health

It takes a lot of bravery for governments to stand up to big business. But the Gillard government has shown a lot of guts during its tenure. It stood up to Big Tobacco in the battle over plain packaging…
Pharmaceutical companies view the growing middle class in India and other emerging economies as a significant source of revenue. Ryan/Flickr

David and Goliath: Novartis challenges India’s patent law

India is the global focal point for legal and political struggles over patent rights and access to medicines. Particular attention is focused on the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, which is in battle…
Biotech patents are worth big money, so companies would fiercely resist a compulsory licence. sam d

Is it time to unlock biotech patents?

We’re in for another round of the biotech patent wars, with announcement the Productivity Commission will inquire into the compulsory licensing of patents. If adopted, compulsory licensing could increase…
Rio+20 has backtracked on many intellectual property measures put in place by Agenda 21. David Foote/AAP

Rio+20: who owns the Green Economy?

The Rio+20 summit has raised a number of difficult questions about law and technology: what is the relationship between intellectual property and the environment? What role does intellectual property play…
The SPICE balloon has been grounded. SPICE Project

Geoengineering trial cancelled: more regulation needed

Inventors have long been protecting their ideas by filing patent applications on new technologies. But is it appropriate for researchers or companies to own the intellectual property rights to climate-altering…

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