Tahir Amin: The Role of Advocacy Groups in the Patent System

Tahir Amin, DipLP, co-founder and director of intellectual property of Initiative for Medicines, Access, and Knowledge, discusses the role that his group plays in patent opposition.


What is the role of advocacy groups in patent opposition?

The role of an advocacy group or a legal group such as ours is to ensure that patents are only given to truly deserved inventions.

By that, I mean if something is not merited—the science behind it has already been published, has already been known in other literature [or] in the field itself—then really our job is to make sure that the patent is not granted in that sense because that then blocks competition, which means higher prices, which means research can’t happen. It can mean a number of things.

And so, our role is to make sure that that knowledge stays open and free so that it can actually be used, whether that be by competitors, generics, biosimilars, or whether it’s in terms of research.