Breaking the Fence: Patent Rights and Biomedical Innovation in 'Technology Followers'
P. Gehl Sampath
The impact of patent protection on biomedical innovation has been a
controversial issue. Although a "medical anti-commons" has been
predicted due to a proliferation of patents on upstream technologies,
evidence to test these concerns is only now emerging. However, most
industrial surveys that shed light on this issue are mainly from
developed countries, making it very difficult to predict the impact of
patenting on biomedical innovation in developing and least developed
countries. This paper develops a framework of analysis for the impact of
patent rights on biomedical innovation in "technology follower"
developing countries. Based on the framework developed in the paper,
empirical data collected in an industry-level survey of the Indian
pharmaceutical industry between November 2004 and January 2005 is used
to analyze the impact of patent rights as recognized under the Agreement
on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS
Agreement) on biomedical innovati on in technology followers.