The materiality of the brand: Form, function, and the pharmaceutical trademark
After its patent expires, which qualities of a brand-name drug are still considered to be private property? Which parts fall into the public commons as fully copiable by generic competitors? This talk explores the limits of patents and trademarks in the sphere of pharmaceutical intellectual property, and illuminates a century of controversy over the clinical, public health, and financial value of ¿look-alike drugs¿: a set of generic pharmaceuticals that imitated their brand-name counterparts down to exact parameters of size, shape, and color. This historical analysis sheds light on alternate regimes of monopoly in medicine that stretch well beyond the patent. Dr. Greene is Associate Professor, Elizabeth Treide and A. McGehee Harvey Chair in the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University.