SOAS University of London

Access to Science and Pharmaceutical Patent Production: Incoherence, debates and the role of expertise

Access to Science and Pharmaceutical Patent Production: Incoherence, debates and the role of expertise

HU Yuanqiong, SOAS University of London

Date: 23 March 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 23 March 2017Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B111

Type of Event: Seminar

Abstract: The past twenty years have witnessed the continuously evolving contentious relations among the contemporary patent system on pharmaceutical patent, the right to access to medicines and the incentives for innovation at international law and policy arena. One of the central aspects of the debates concerns the question of whether patents are essential in promoting scientific progress. Recent literature has spurred the closer appraisal of the right to access to science and the appropriation of science by patent production in pharmaceutical field. On one hand, patenting has become imperative in research institutions concerning scientific activities and their outcomes. The production of new claims by patent experts reinforces the dominant presence of the notion of patent in the realm of science. On another hand, scholars have provoked the right to access to science referring to international human rights laws, arguing the conflicts of normative applications with the patent system. The seminar intends to interrogate the incoherence and debates with focus on the role of expertise in redefining the boundary of patent law and scientific activities with examples of claim production, and explores the extent to which the recognition of the right to access to science could contribute to the debate.

HU Yuanqiong is lawyer and researcher on intellectual property law, international law, environmental law and human rights, and currently a PhD candidate at SOAS. Yuan has worked as Senior Legal and Policy Advisor for the Access Campaign of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) with focus on intellectual property, as Head of Policy and Research Division of Save the Children China, and as Environmental Law Attorney of Natural Resources Defence Council (US). She also worked as a practicing lawyer and a teacher of economic law in China. Yuan holds an MPhil on Human Rights from University of Oslo, LLM and LLB from Shandong University. Her publications on access to medicines and intellectual property can be found at:

The seminar will take place from 7:00 to 8:30 pm in Room B111, Brunei Gallery (opp. Main Building), SOAS – All Welcome
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