IP Protection of Preventive TCM and Precision Medicine in China, Harnessing Holistic Research from Man to Mankind
Special number Medicine and Law (WAML), Forthcoming
19 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2017
Date Written: November 28, 2017
Prevention is better than to cure. This was acknowledged in Ancient China, where traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) tried to re-harmonise people by taking a holistic view on health and going after the root of the disease not just the symptoms. The Chinese government views TCM as complementary to Western medicine and invests heavily in its research, promotion and protection via patent law, trade secrets and geographical indications. China would also like to and could dominate the developments in precision medicine, by sequencing the genomes of millions of its people. This knowledge will make it possible to go after the root of diseases, via the identification of genetic markers, and remove the roots of these diseases via gene editing technology. Patent law could harness the efforts to identify the genetic markers by giving incentives to researchers, or harm the developments in regard to gene editing technology, as might be caused by an overcrowded patent landscape.
Keywords: Intellectual Property; Patent Law; Trade Secret; Geographical Indication; Precision Medicine; Preventive Medicine; Traditional Chinese Medicine; CRISPR-Cas9; Genetic Markers; China
JEL Classification: I18; K10; K29; K39
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