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Intellectual Property and Public Health in the Developing World

Monirul Azam


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1This study could not have been completed without the profound encouragement, persistent support and forbearance of my loving family members. I would like to express my deep gratitude to Prof. Thomas Cottier, who has been an excellent source of support, inspiration and advice throughout this difficult writing process. I think if I had listened to him properly, this study would have been completed earlier. I am also grateful to Rosemarie, Secretary of the World Trade Institute (WTI) in Bern for her kind cooperation throughout the process of my work at the WTI. My sincere thanks to colleagues and friends at the WTI, who provided useful comments during annual workshops in February 2010 and March 2012 and also at the brown bag presentation on 27 July 2011.

2I am very grateful to Prof. Shah Alam, former dean in the Faculty of Law (presently chairman-in-charge, Law Commission of Bangladesh), for encouragement and advice as a student and colleague which shaped a global vision of legal education in my mind; and also to Professor Morshed Mahmud Khan who, as a supervisor of my LLM thesis at the Department of Law, University of Chittagong, initially encouraged me to conduct my research on intellectual property law. I gratefully acknowledge the inspiration and motivation I received from Prof. Mpasi Sinjella, former director of the WIPO Academy, and Prof. Marco Ricolfi, director of the WIPO-Turin IP Programme, to do further higher study and research in the field of intellectual property. I am also grateful to officials at the Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, and at the Directorate of Drug Administration in Bangladesh for their cooperation during my field studies. I am also thankful to the pharmaceutical industries in Bangladesh and all other participants for their cooperation during the survey and interviews in Bangladesh. However, as per requests from the participants of surveys and interviews, this study maintains the anonymity and confidentiality of the participants throughout.

3I would like to acknowledge the kind cooperation of Sheikh Rafiqul Islam Raju (former consultant of English for Law, Bar Council of Bangladesh) and his team in Dhaka throughout the process of field research in Bangladesh. I am also grateful to my colleagues and former teachers at the Department of Law, University of Chittagong – particularly to the late Prof. Khabir Uddin Ahmed, Prof. Zakir Hossain, Prof. Mohiuddin Khaled, Prof. Abdullah-al-Faruque and Dr. Jafar Ullah Talukder – for their kind support and encouragement.

4The revision of this study as a book was to some extent also influenced and complemented by my previous and ongoing research work in the field of intellectual property at the University of Chittagong; the University of Turin, Italy; the WIPO Academy, Geneva; Central Queensland University, Australia; Stockholm University, Sweden; the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the United Nations University, Japan. This study has also addressed comments of two anonymous reviewers suggested by Open Book Publishers. I also received valuable comments and inputs during my visits to and presentations at several conferences and workshops at the WIPO and WTO headquarters in Geneva, and also at the University of Oxford and Yale Law School. I hereby express deep gratitude to each of these institutions for their generous fellowship and library support. I am grateful to Prof. Marianne Levin (Department of Law, Stockholm University) for being so kind and supportive, and for her critical comments on some chapters of this book.

5I am also grateful to the Chicago-Kent Intellectual Property Journal and the Akron Intellectual Property Journal for kind permission to re-publish Chapter Three and Chapter Four of this book, which were published earlier as follows:

6M. Monirul Azam, ‘The Experiences of TRIPS-compliant Patent Law Reforms in Brazil, India, and South Africa and Lessons from Bangladesh’, Akron Intellectual Property Journal 7.2 (2014): 61‑100;

7M. Monirul Azam, ‘Globalizing Standard of Patent Protection in WTO Law and Policy Options for the LDCs: The Context of Bangladesh’, Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property 13.2 (2014): 402‑88.

8This book contains some repetitions across different chapters. I intentionally maintained these repetitions so that chapters could be read both as part of a book and alone, online or as study material. As a guest speaker at the Swedish Patent Office over the last five years, taking part in training programs for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) on industrial property in the global economy, I realized that government officials, academics and industry experts in the LDCs need to have an appropriate understanding of legal flexibilities and how to address them in their national legislation. For this reason, I revised some chapters to be used as ready reference texts, free from ambiguous jargon and complex structures and case laws.

9Finally, I am indebted to my loving family members for putting up with me during these difficult years of writing and travelling, particularly my wife, Tanya, my son, Anas, and my daughter, Ilyana. I would like to thank my parents, brothers, sister and in-laws for their support and inspiration. Special thanks to Dr. Alessandra Tosi from Open Book Publishers for her continuous support and cooperation to publish this as a book. A research grant from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science suppported the revision of this book. I would also like to thank Professors Hideto Nakajima and Norichika Kanie for their support during my time at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the United Nations University, respectively.

10The cut-off research date for this book was 31 December 2015. Therefore, further updates after December 2015 are not reflected here.

11Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo Institute of Technology/United Nations University
3 February 2016


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