1 Williams Powell, UK
DiscussionPatents reward inventors (or often, their employers) by granting a time-limited monopoly on their invention in return for disclosing details of their idea to the public. Such reward is crucial in the pharmaceutical sector in view of the cost of bringing a drug through pre-clinical and clinical trials and eventually to market. The possibility of owning the rights to, and charging a premium for, life-saving medical treatments is, however, not without controversy. Should researchers seek patent protection for promising candidates for treating developing world diseases? How can patents be used to ensure both inventors and society at large benefit from innovations? And what steps should you take to ensure your potential inventions are properly protected?