Author Archive: Roy Zwahlen

Roy Zwahlen

Roy is Associate Counsel at BIO and the main contributor for Patently Biotech. He is a lawyer by training, with a background in international and national politics. He grew up in the developing world and believes that innovation can and does solve many of the world’s problems. Because of this, his work focuses on creating a worldwide policy environment that fosters innovation in the biotechnology sector to prevent and cure diseases such as HIV, to increase crop yields to feed more people, and to decrease the harmful effects of industry on the environment. Roy spends his free time keeping up with his three kids, a wife that knows everything (no joke), and serving in his church and broader community. Learn more about Roy from his Linkedin Profile.

Latest Posts

South Africa National Policy on Intellectual Property: Inconsistent with Biotech Development Goals


BIO submitted comments this week to the government of South Africa on their proposed “Draft National Policy on Intellectual Property.”  Below are some highlights. “BIO and its member companies are aware of the South African government’s aspirations to develop its life sciences industry, a message that South African officials communicated clearly at the recent BIO International Conference in Chicago, USA, in April 2013. At that conference and in subsequent discussions, South African officials have sent Read More >

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The “Designer Baby” Patent: Why the Patent System Should Not Regulate Science


23andMe received criticism this week from a few bioethicists in the journal Genetics in Medicine, regarding a patent titled “gamete donor selection based on genetic calculations.”   The ethicists write,  “Selecting children in ways such as those patented by 23andMe is hugely ethically controversial… We believe the patent office made a serious mistake in allowing a patent that includes drop-down menus from which to choose a future child’s traits… At no stage during the examination of the patent application Read More >

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New Bill Calls for No WTO-Plus Benefits for Countries that Violate IP

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A new Bill in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to remove WTO-plus trade benefits the United States provides to countries that disrespect intellectual property rights.  On September 20, 2013, Representative Terry introduced the “Playing Fair on Trade and Innovation Act.”  The Bill would deem countries ineligible for the Generalized System of Preferences program (GSP) if that country “fails to provide adequate and effective protection for intellectual property rights” or “maintains local content requirements…”  GSP Read More >

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India’s IP Policy: India’s Lead Biotech Innovator Expresses Concern


Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson and managing director of India’s largest biotechnology company Biocon, expressed concern with India’s innovation environment in a recent interview with Livemint.  When asked if the Indian government fosters innovation Ms. Shaw responded: “I am very concerned about the wrong signals we are sending to the world. We have not done anything substantial to build India as a strong global economy. We have wasted a lot of opportunities. We behave like the world Read More >

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Patent Trolls and Patent Litigation: The GAO Weighs In


Patent troll litigation alarmist were likely disappointed by the GAO report.  While the public discourse may have already concluded that patent trolls have laid waste to the innovative landscape by creating a patent litigation crisis, the GAO report does not find much evidence to support such claims. Patent troll litigation is not running rampant.  The GAO analyzed a sample of 500 patent infringement lawsuits from 2007 to 2011 and found that companies that make products (operating Read More >

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