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Title: Accommodating Long Term Scientific Progress: Patent Prospects in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Authors: Anand, Nithya
Keywords: Neglected diseases;Kitch theory;Commercialization;Patent race;Patent prospects;Rent-seeking;Pharmacentical industry
Issue Date: Jan-2011
Publisher: NISCAIR-CSIR, India
Abstract: This article examines the recent theoretical justifications of the patent system. The design of the patent system is considered through the lens of the ‘prospect’ theory of patents, proposed by Edmund Kitch. This theory has much to contribute to the understanding of the actual working of the patent system, particularly in complicated issues such as encouraging research in neglected diseases. It provides a much better insight to the challenges which must be surmounted, in protecting and encouraging private investment in research. However, this theory is yet to be fully explored. Variations of this theory have touched upon some of the challenges within the patent system – but they appear unable to accommodate full impact of patent ‘prospects’. For one, the full range of product development processes must be understood. Secondly, the patent regime must be able to include both worlds of organized and unorganized research, commercialized and basic research. This article makes an effort to identify and distinguish between the various implications of this theory, and attempts to bring them together to a simpler formulation. This simpler formulation, of guiding investment vis-à-vis the market-pull factors in product development, could probably be satisfied in many different ways. These, however, are outside the scope of this article.
Page(s): 17-22
ISSN: 0975-1076 (Online); 0971-7544 (Print)
Appears in Collections:JIPR Vol.16(1) [January 2011]

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