Lawyering for the Commons: Public Interest & Global Intellectual Property

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How can intellectual property laws affect public health? Copyright and trademark law used to prevent social commentary, as well as access to scientific research. Patent laws, for example, incentivize certain behaviors, and prioritize certain patients over others (for example, patients in wealthy, developed countries who can afford high prices to support costly R&D of new drugs). Public interest-minded IP lawyers can focus on developing global and national IP policies that "reflect the needs of industrial development," says Adriana Benedict in "Lawyering for the Commons: Public Interest & Global Intellectual Property." The presentation is part of Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession’s speaker series on helping lawyers build meaningful careers.

Benedict is a recent Harvard Law School grad, who also holds an MS in Global Health and Population from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and an AB in History and Science, with a secondary field in Government, and a Certificate in Mind, Brain and Behavior from Harvard University.

In the video, she also discusses issues like fair use, shared rights, anti-competitiveness, exceptions, and evolution of international policy and agreements. Like Hot Legal Careers: Global Trends in Compulsory Patent Licensing, this is an important presentation for lawyers thinking of careers in corporate legal departments of drugmakers, medical device manufacturers, and similar companies, as well as lawyers looking for government or public interest positions in the regulation of those companies, their IP, and their products.