This book analyses the history of the international patent regime and the life science industries, both of which can be traced back to the late 19th century. The development of patent law is inextricably linked to expanding capacities to elucidate, manipulate and commercially exploit the molecular properties of micro-organisms, plants, animals and other organic raw materials. The story of the life science industries begins with the European synthetic dyestuff firms and culminates in present-day conglomerates like Aventis, Novartis and Pharmacia. Throughout the last century, chemical, pharmaceutical, seed and biotechnology firms were actively involved in reforming patent law and plant variety rights. The major beneficiaries have been the largest firms whose market dominance and influence over peoples' lives - aided by friendly intellectual property laws - has never been greater. This sparkling and stimulating book reveals the key repercussions caused by the expansion of life science industries for issues of international equity, public health, food security and biological diversity.
’This book is invaluable for an understanding of the way in which the life science industries have used patent rights as their engine of growth and reciprocally, how patent law doctrine has evolved to accommodate the demands of those industries.’ Professor Michael Blakeney, Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute, University of London, UK ’This should be required reading for anyone who is interested in the economic, political, legal, and moral controversies about intellectual property protection. Graham Dutfield provides a fascinating, richly detailed, yet remarkably succinct, account of the life sciences industries and intellectual property. He synthesizes a vast amount of material into a compelling whole. Everyone involved in these issues and industries will learn something from this gem of a book.’ Susan K. Sell, Associate Professor of Political Science, George Washington University, USA ’Well-written, well organized and well-edited…Dutfield’s book is interesting, balanced and highly informative. It displays an excellent grasp of wide-ranging topical literature and reminds the reader how important it is to study and learn from history.’ Law and Politics Book Review '…an important and timely contextualisation of the debates, a lucid distillation of the issues, and a thorough expolsition upon the technological, economic, and ideological motivations for the industries and for the debates themselves…not only a comprehensive historical analysis, scholarly critique, and technical narration of the industries, but also a thoroughly enjoyable exploration of an area of critical global importance.' SCRIPT-ed Online Journal '…this is a fascinating account which must inform the debate about the value of intellectual property…an interesting and rewarding work, which, as well as contributing to the TRIPs debate, should stimulate further studies of the history of intellectual property.' Bio-Science Law Review
Contents: Introduction; Intellectual property in the global economy: high stakes and propaganda warfare; Intellectual property and regulation theory; The emergence of modern patent law; Organic chemistry and the synthetic dyestuff industry; The pharmaceutical industry; Biotechnology, genomics and the new life science corporations; Plant breeding, the seed industry, and plant breeders' rights; Towards a global IP regime: trade and diplomacy; Forums of resistance?; Epilogue: the life science industries in a patent-free world; Bibliography; Indices.