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Middle income countries (MICs) pay high prices for antiretrovirals (ARVs), hampering their ability to close the treatment gap and to adopt newer ARVs in their treatment protocols. Patent monopolies and exclusion from pharmaceutical companies’ access initiatives and voluntary licenses contribute to these high prices. Companies file more patents in MICs and many of these are unmerited covering only minor modifications of known substances. This leads to abusive patent protection, which blocks generic competition that could lead to dramatically lower prices. This workshop aims to build the capacity and provide support to civil society advocates and organizations seeking to instill stricter patent examination standards and engage in patent opposition strategies. Using the experience of the facilitators, the workshop provides practical guidelines and examples for setting stricter patentability standards and strategies for filing patent oppositions including conducting patent searches, monitoring patent applications, prior art search and drafting of oppositions.

14:30
Introduction and welcome
Othoman Mellouk, International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC MENA), Morocco
14:40
Strict patentability criteria and your patent law
Kajal Bhardwaj, Independent Lawyer, India
15:00
Engaging with patent offices
Priti Radhakrishnan, Initiative for Medicines, Access, & Knowledge (I-MAK), United States
15:15
Group Work
15:35
Working on patent oppositions
Tahir Amin, Initiative for Medicines, Access, & Knowledge (I-MAK), United States
Slides
16:25
Interventions on patent oppositions: global experiences and national experiences (Ukraine, Argentina, India)
16:35
Open house discussion