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Intellectual property

The Pharmaceutical Journal Vol 265 No 7125p838
December 02, 2000 Reviews

Commercial issues for the life sciences company’, by Paul Taylor, Simon Portman and Simon Smith. Pp x+164. price £45. Sudbury: Monitor Press, 2000. ISBN 1 871 241 46 4.

Intellectual property (IP) rights are the most valuable asset to a life science company, both to ward off competition and to attract investment. Any dispute, particularly regarding IP, will decrease a company’s value. This book highlights areas that should be kept in mind and steps that can be taken to help avoid such problems. The creation of IP rights and their ownership is discussed including what constitutes an infringement of those rights. Throughout the creation, use and exploitation of IP, the importance of record keeping and documentation is emphasised.
It is essential that any agreement within this field deals with ownership, licensing and use of underlying IP rights. The warranties that should be secured/negotiated are different for a seller and buyer of a company or business. The authors give some draft examples. There are commercial and legal issues which are relevant in contracts made along the way to full commercialisation of a product, with each party having their own agenda. The most important of these are detailed.
Parties to an agreement should comply with United Kingdom and European competition law (which the authors very usefully summarise), apply for clearance or potentially face penal action from the competition authorities. Parallel importation is discussed and is a contentious issue within the pharmaceutical industry and the courts at present.
This book will be beneficial to managers and scientists related to life science companies and those engaged in research by giving them a good information base to help avoid legal disputes and to be knowledgeable, should they need the services of a lawyer. Trainee and junior solicitors wishing to enter this area of law may find this a useful overview.

Reviewer - Helen Middleton
Helen Middleton is a pharmacist and a solicitor at Hammond Suddards Edge (solicitors), London

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 20003748

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