"Intellectual Property Rights and Technology Transfer: Enabling Access For Developing Countries"

Anthony D. So, Arti K. Rai, Robert M. Cook-Deegan
Duke University

This study addresses how intellectual property and technology transfer practices—particularly at academic research centers, in non-profit institutions and in government (the “public sector”)—influence the availability and affordability of biomedical technologies relevant to developing country concerns. A comprehensive discussion of this subject would require data on the number and type of public sector patents that cover either essential medicines needed in developing countries or tools relevant to research on neglected diseases. Tracing the licensing of these inventions, often not publicly transparent, to life-saving products, too often not affordable, would make a more telling picture. In the absence of large-scale empirical research directly on point, the study makes some inferences from available data on the large role that the public sector plays in biomedical innovation as a whole, at least within the U.S.