Prof Aisling McMahon & Dr Opeyemi Kolawole present PatentsInHumans papers at the SLSA conference at the University of Portsmouth

by | Apr 10, 2024 | News

On 27 March 2024, Prof Aisling McMahon & Dr Opeyemi Kolawole presented three papers based on emerging research from the European Research Council funded PatentsInHumans project at the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) conference at the University of Portsmouth.

Prof Aisling McMahon and Dr Opeyemi Kolawole presented a co-authored paper at the health law panel of the SLSA conference entitled “Intellectual Property Rights, Control and Repair of Medical Devices: Autonomy, Sustainability and the Need (and Challenges) for a Right to Repair for Medical Devices?” This paper examined the potential impact of intellectual property rights on medical device users’ ability to source repair services for medical devices focusing on the bioethical issues that can arise. It put forward the case for a regulated right to repair with specific reference to how such a right could address the IP issues arising in such contexts. Alongside this, Dr Opeyemi Kolawole presented a paper at the intellectual property law panel of the SLSA entitled “Competition Law and Access to Medical Technologies: Can European Competition Law Improve Patients’ Welfare and Access to Medical Technologies?” This paper examined whether or to what extent European competition law provides avenues to address some of the potential bioethical issues posed by how patents can be used over health-technologies, focusing in particular on the impact of patents on access to health-technologies. Both of these papers were developed based on research under work-package one of the PatentsInHumans project which examines the potential bioethical issues posed by patent rights – and how such rights can be used – over technologies related to the body, and avenues to address these in Europe.

Finally, Prof Aisling McMahon presented a paper at the intellectual property panel of the SLSA conference entitled “Bioethics, Patent Decision-Making and the Biotech Directive: A Failure to Keep Pace with Scientific Developments amidst Institutional Inertia?” This paper focused on research emerging from work-package two of the project which examines the decision-making framework within which bioethical issues are considered in patent grant and use stages in Europe. Drawing on theories from political science around the role of institutions in decision-making contexts, the paper examined the extent to which the European patent decision-making system is institutionally configured to engage with the potential bioethical issues that can arise around patents over advanced biotechnologies.

You can find out more about the PatentsInHumans project by watching this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFVRHpzzuQM

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