[Ip-health] South Centre Research Paper 61: Guidelines on Patentability and Access to Medicines
thiru at keionline.org
Mon Apr 27 01:18:43 PDT 2015
South Centre Research Paper 61: Guidelines on Patentability and Access to
Dr Germán Velásquez
Until recently, the link between the examination of patents carried out by
national patent offices and the right of citizens to access to medicines
was not at all clear. They were two functions or responsibilities of the
State that apparently had nothing to do with each other. Examining the
growing literature on intellectual property and access to medicines, it
seems that the analysis of one actor has been left out: the patent offices. And
the reason is clear: patent offices are administrative institutions.
Patentability requirements are not defined by patent offices, but
frequently by the courts, tribunals, legislation or treaty negotiators.
There is now greater understanding that the examination of patents and the
role played by patent examiners are key elements that could contribute to
or obstruct access to medicines. Given the impact of pharmaceutical patents
on access to medicines, patent offices should draw up public policies and
strategies that respond to national health and medicine policies.
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