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Title: Strategic patenting in the pharmaceutical industry : a competition law perspective
Author: Gurgula, Olga
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 8452
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2019
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The concept of strategic patenting is neither new nor inherent only to the pharmaceutical industry. However, the pharmaceutical industry is unique as it combines private and public interests, and therefore falls under the rigorous control of competition authorities. As a result of the 2008 Pharmaceutical Sector Inquiry, the European Commission revealed that patenting practices may delay or even block generic competition and hence affect access to affordable medicines. Such findings have fuelled debates as to whether these strategies may be deemed unlawful and violate EU competition rules, while also being justifiable business practices under patent law. Until now, the agreement has not been reached either on the legality of these practices, or on an efficient legal tool to assess them. This thesis provides a contribution to the discussion on strategic patenting in the pharmaceutical industry by analysing these strategies from the competition law perspective. It focuses on two specific practices, in particular: strategic accumulation of patents and product hopping. While the Commission has flagged them as potentially problematic, they are currently viewed as lawful business practices in the EU. This thesis investigates whether in certain specific circumstances these practices may be anticompetitive. In order to address this enquiry, the analysis is conducted in a twofold manner: on the one hand, it identifies the reasons for and provides possible solutions to this issue within the patent system itself, while on the other hand it provides an in-depth analysis of these practices under the competition law rules. The findings contained in this thesis are intended to be a useful policy tool in reducing the negative effect of strategic patenting in the pharmaceutical industry in order to facilitate access to affordable medicines.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Patenting ; Pharmaceuticals ; Competition law ; affordable medicines