Politicians, economists, lawyers and legislatures often justify the existence of patent monopolies on the basis that they serve to create an environment which incentivises inventors to invest in making new inventions which enhance the utility of society. To what extent does that justification still hold true? This presentation will investigate areas in which the patent system has arguably failed to incentivise the making of inventions that society needs – particularly in the area of pharmaceuticals and healthcare. It will also look at worldwide abuses of the patent system by rights holders and go on to ask whether in the light of such failures and abuses we can still justify the existence of patent monopolies.


Each year the OIPRC hosts a number of leading academics from around the world as part of its Invited Speaker Series. These events typically run from 5:15-6:45pm on Thursday evenings at St. Peter’s College; if the venue or time is different, it will be noted on the Events calendar.  The Speaker Series consists of a presentation of about 45 minutes, followed by a Q&A session with the assembled group of academic staff, students (both undergraduate and graduate), researchers, and interested members of the public.  Discussion is informal and includes participants from several disciplines, with a wide range of prior knowledge.

Convenors: Robert BurrellDev Gangjee and Robert Pitkethly

Refreshments and snacks are served at the conclusion of the discussion.  All are welcome.