The patentability of medical treatments


Wednesday 7 June 2017


Venue Royal Society of Medicine
1 Wimpole Street
Organised by

History of Medicine Society


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about this event

The lecture will look at the patenting of DNA as a case study to explore the origins and history of patenting and the application of patenting to medical treatments.

This meeting will also include a discussion of the historical origin of patents in England; the transmission of English patent law to the colonies, and a case study of the patentability of diagnostic tests (including DNA elements) and the impact of Brexit upon UK patent law. The presentation will also consider the patentability of surgery and pharmaceutical treatments.


  • To communicate something about the tension between incentivisation of medical research through the granting of private patent rights and the free access of the medical community to those innovations. This tension can be traced in the evolution of the concept of patent protection and its regulation through legislation since 1624. 
  • To demonstrate how common law principles which were evolved in Elizabethan and Stuart times were carried to the British colonies which were settled much later.

After the meeting, there will be a two course dinner for pre-registered delegates only.



5.30 pm


6.00 pm

Annual general meeting

6.30 pm

Introduction by the President

Dr Julie Papworth, President, History of Medicine Society, Royal Society of Medicine

6.35 pm

The patentability of medical treatments

Winthrop Professor Michael Blakeney, Faculty of Law, University of Western Australia and Visiting Professor in Intellectual Property, Queen Mary University of London

7.35 pm

Completion of evaluation forms

7.40 pm

Close of meeting

7.45 pm

Dinner - for those who have pre-booked

register now for this event

register for this event

  • Online registration closes on Thursday 1 June 2017
  • RSM member rates start from £25
  • Non member rates start from £35
  • 2 course dinner with 2 glasses of wine £45
  • Dinner is available for pre-booked delegates only.
register now


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organiser's details

For information on this event, contact Alison ChanTel: 02072903937 Email: arrow