Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



This paper considers some features of Europe's approach to medicine, public health and patents as it has developed during the decade since TRIPs came into force. It then reviews what rights users have in relation to such patents and what duties right holders may owe users. The following issues are discussed: 1. How patents on medicines are viewed in Europe, 2. How TRIPs has affected European law, 3. How bilateral agreements since TRIPs have affected Europe, 4. How user rights should be viewed under TRIPs, 5. Whether patents in the public health field are a special case.