Physicians as User Innovators

Intellectual Property at the Edge: The Contested Contours of IP, Rochelle Cooper Dreyfuss and Jane C. Ginsburg, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 343-357

10 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2013 Last revised: 9 Jan 2014

Date Written: March 15, 2013

Abstract

The patent systems in Europe, the United States and many other countries exempt medical treatment methods from patentability or shield physicians from the enforcement of such patents. While various policy reasons for such exceptions can be traced back decades and even centuries, today the exceptions are usually justified on ethical and moral grounds. This article describes the evolution of the medical treatment exception in Europe. It points to empirical evidence of medical progress in user innovation communities and considers how well the European experience supports an understanding of physicians as user innovators. The article describes the implications of this framing for patent policy.

Keywords: Medical treatment, patent, user innovation, physicians

JEL Classification: K00, K19, K20, K29, O31, Q3

Suggested Citation

Bechtold, Stefan, Physicians as User Innovators (March 15, 2013). Intellectual Property at the Edge: The Contested Contours of IP, Rochelle Cooper Dreyfuss and Jane C. Ginsburg, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 343-357, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2255528

Stefan Bechtold (Contact Author)

ETH Zürich ( email )

IFW E 47.2
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland
+41-44-632-2670 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ip.ethz.ch/people/bechtold

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