Archived Biography: Talha Seyed is an S.J.D. Candidate at Harvard Law School; Fellow, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; Graduate Fellow, Weatherhead Center Project on Justice, Welfare & Economics; Graduate Fellow, LL.M. Advisor
Dissertation: The Legal-Institutional Economics of Pharmaceutical Innovation: A Critical Assessment of Strong Patent Protection and Alternative Innovation Policies
My dissertation seeks to challenge and provide alternatives to “strong patent protection” as the dominant innovation policy for pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) in the United States and, increasingly, throughout the world. My critical evaluation of this innovation regime proceeds in the following broad stages. First, I examine the pharmaceutical-specific version of the “public goods” argument that undergirds the economic justification of IP rights, in light of both the public-private institutional matrix in which contemporary pharmaceutical innovation actually takes place and the economics of patent protection in the pharmaceutical industry. This examination reveals a number of significant flaws in current justifications and arrangements and leads to two sets of reforms options. The first keeps in place patent protection as the innovation policy of choice, but alters its form and deploys supplementary regulatory measures to address its various costs and rent-seeking distortions. The second explores the case for an alternative innovation policy, drawing on the earlier examination of the institutional context of drug development, as well as on the IP-specific and more general institutional economics theoretical literature on incentives and information.