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.


RSM member rates start at £25 - £30
Non RSM member rates start at £35

After the meeting, there will be a two course dinner for pre-registered delegates only. Book now for only £45.00. 


5.30 pm

Registration, tea and coffee

6.00 pm

The History of Medicine Society AGM

For Society members only

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, Professor of Law, University of Western Australia

7.30 pm

Vote of thanks

Dr Enrico Bonnadio, Senior Lecturer in Law, The City Law School, London

7.35 pm

Introduction of Dr Catherine Sarraf as President for the 2017/18 Academic Year

7.40 pm

Close of meeting

7.45 pm

Dinner - For those that have pre-booked

register for this event

  • Online registration for this meeting has now closed
  • Places are still available for the meeting and registrations will be taken on the day
  • 2 course dinner with 2 glasses of wine £45
  • Dinner is available for pre-booked delegates only.


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Need somewhere to stay in London?

RSM members

Enjoy our excellent accommodation facilities right here at the RSM


Non members

Stay at our Grade I listed Georgian townhouse just 5 mins walk from RSM


organiser's details

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