Monday, 7 November 2005
There’s been a fair bit of discussion in the last little while over ‘breaking’ the Tamiflu patents. Actually, of course, what we are talking about is not ‘breaking’ patents, as such, but rather, applying exceptions to patent protection, which are well-established both in Australian law, and in international law (via Article 30 of TRIPS, affirmed by the Doha Declaration). This would involve compulsory licensing of the patents – the patentee gets paid, but has no ‘right of veto’ and in effect loses some of the benefits of the monopoly. The debate heightened when Taiwan announced it would be using its rights under international law to have Tamiflu manufactured.
Now, I’m not proposing to go into a deep analysis of the issues, but I’ve seen a few links recently, and thought I’d collect them in one place. So if you are interested in following up these issues, here are some sources.
On the ‘break the patents’ side, the most obvious and articulate proponents have been Peter Drahos and his colleagues. See:
On the ‘don’t break the patents’ side, see:
On the ‘not sure this is a hard issue’, see:
And on the ‘Roche should just issue a blanket non-exclusive license on reasonable terms’ side, see:
Other suggestions of course welcome.
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