The Impacts of Patent Layering on Public Health: Lessons from India to Nigeria

Great Ijomah


This paper is intended to be a contribution towards the improvement and efficiency in patenting pharmaceutical inventions, particularly in developing countries.  The paper seeks to evaluate the concept of patent layering and its allied concepts against the backdrop of the prescribed duration of patent vis a- vis the argument for competition (free market), and the monopoly or exclusive right of patentee with the aim of ascertaining its overall effect on the right of the general public to have access to good health using pharmaceutical industry as a case study. It shall be demonstrated that the practice is antithetical to general public access to medicine (drugs). The paper will suggest and propose a policy shift by way of amending the provisions in the Nigeria Patent and Designs Act dealing with requirement for patentable invention by setting higher standards for novelty particularly on improvement of existing patent. The paper shall contend that failure for the developing countries, like Nigeria to amend their Patent laws will have suffocating effect on the public health sector and risking the life of poor patient whose meager income may not afford these drugs.

Keywords: Intellectual property, Patent, Medicine, Drugs, Patent layering, Evergreening

DOI: 10.7176/JLPG/88-20

Publication date: August 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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