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The Case for Incentivising Healthy Food by Using Patents

Bonadio, E. (2016). The Case for Incentivising Healthy Food by Using Patents. Marquette intellectual property law review, 20(I), pp. 1-29.


The need to supply consumers with healthier food and beverages constitutes an urgent priority as many people in both industrialized and developing countries struggle with obesity and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) caused by the consumption of unhealthy products.

This article makes the point that patents may contribute to fighting such illnesses. Three proposals are put forward. The first and second proposals give healthy food inventions a preferential treatment with a view to speeding up or facilitating their patenting process. The third proposal would consist of excluding from patentability certain food inventions if it is proven that the relevant products or processes are harmful to human health.

Such proposals would comply with the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and are in line with the general aim of the patent system, namely encouraging (before) and rewarding (later) the creation of inventions really useful to society.

Publication Type: Article
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
SWORD Depositor:
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