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

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

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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

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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

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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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What a Patent is Not

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‘Patent trolls.’  ‘Patients over patents.’  ‘Do Not Patent My Genes.’  ‘Patents ate my baby.’  Ok, so I made the last one up.  The emphasis on patents in the public discourse has reached a new high.  Yet, many commentators get the basics wrong.  Here are a few things that a patent is not. A patent is not ownership of a thing, whether it is life, genes, viruses, computer code, or any other animate or inanimate object.  Read More >

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