Reflections on a Post-Pandemic European Patent System
European Intellectual Property Review, 2020 Forthcoming
19 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2020 Last revised: 6 Oct 2020
Date Written: June 1, 2020
Against the backdrop of COVID-19, this Opinion essay proposes three ways to improve the European patent system without the need for legislative reform. Each has particular implications for drug patenting, and reflects an interpretive conception of law and legal legitimacy as requiring the application of legislation in accordance with moral values, including those expressed in constitutional instruments. If adopted, the proposals would: restrict the patentability of second medical indications and anchor assessments of inventive step more firmly to patent policy; expand assessments of the moral and public policy implications of patenting inventions and extend the disclosure duties of applicants; and adapt the FRAND licensing system to cover essential medical technologies.
Keywords: Patents, inventive step, FRAND licensing, essential medicines, morality, public policy, COVID-19, Europe, drug patenting
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