June 6, 2016

IP back to the future

Andrew Skodyn is quoted in the Canadian Lawyer Special Report IP Back to the Future on June 6, 2016.

“That’s the idea that patenting of Western medicine and small molecules, synthetic drugs has been thus far well documented and developed and a standard protocol by which one ensures that one protects one’s own innovation,” [Andrew Skodyn] says. “Whereas the greatest concern of biopiracy has been, to this point, that companies are allegedly going and trying to patent something that has been public domain for a long time and no one has written it down. That issue in Canada has come up mostly in the context of the policy aspects of the battle between first to patent and first to invent.”

Skodyn says he wouldn’t be surprised “to discover there are traditional remedies or other medicines that North American or Canadian First Nations have used over the years that some day some enterprising pharmaceutical company might find and the issue is going to be are they really developing it such that it is a new thing? There is knowledge that is fundamental to people, and whether that’s traditional medicine known for years or the genes that are inside ourselves that we’re just not comfortable with someone owning a patent over, and so we want to draw distinctions.”