Beyond Patents: The Problems of Non-Traditional Trademark Protection for Medicines and Health Technologies Academic Article uri icon


  • In November 2015, the United Nations Secretary General convened a High-Level Panel on Access to Health Technologies. The Panel’s objective was “to propose solutions for addressing the incoherencies between international human rights, trade, intellectual property rights, and public health objectives.” In a Report issued in September 2016, the Panel discussed how countries worldwide could use the flexibilities in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to foster research and development of health technologies. Unsurprisingly, the Panel’s report focused on patent law. Yet, in the Report’s Annexes, it was highlighted that other IP rights, such as trademarks and copyright, can also “exert monopolistic effects in the market,” and that the effects of these rights can “rival those associated with patents and with a far greater duration” due to their different terms and scope of protection. As a result, it was noted, more attention should be paid to these rights “to tackle the[ir] combined effects … on the cost, distribution, and accessibility of medicines and health technologies.”

published proceedings

  • IIC - International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law

altmetric score

  • 2.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Calboli, I.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Calboli, Irene

publication date

  • January 2020