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Pharmaceuticals

Intellectual Property Law

Selected Works

SelectedWorks

Christopher Wadlow

2010

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Great Pharmaceutical Patent Robbery, And The Curious Case Of The Chemical Foundation, Christopher Wadlow Jan 2010

The Great Pharmaceutical Patent Robbery, And The Curious Case Of The Chemical Foundation, Christopher Wadlow

Christopher Wadlow

In 1918, the United States confiscated virtually all German-owned intellectual property assets within its jurisdiction. Out of 6,000 patents in the chemical field, 4,500 were assigned for a very modest consideration to an newly-established entity, the Chemical Foundation, which was incorporated with the objective of licensing and managing them for the benefit of the United States chemical industry. This article describes the origins and activities of the Chemical Foundation, and considers whether it provides a useful model, or at least useful lessons, for the collective management of patents today.