Annual Nies Lecture in Intellectual Property


Wednesday, April 10, 2013
12:15 p.m.
1 CLE Credit
Parking is available on site.

Patents, Markets, and Medicine in a Just Society

Arti K. Rai

Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law at Duke University

Medical care is a particular flash point in the combustible mixture of patents and non-market considerations confronting policymakers. On the one hand, the marketoriented patent jurisprudence dominant in the United States has a very limited vocabulary for addressing some of the non-market considerations (e.g. distributive justice, liberty) raised by biomedical patents. On the other hand, people can languish and die if they don't get the right medical care. While the typical response is for demand-side institutions, such as a health insurance system supported in significant part by public subsidies, to address non-market considerations, even expanded versions of these insurance subsidies won't provide a complete answer. Professor Rai will discuss this public policy conundrum—and how both non-market and market values can be promoted by narrowly targeted use of supply-side alternatives to patents.

ARTI K. RAI is the Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law at Duke University, where she is also affiliated with the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy. She is an internationally recognized expert in intellectual property, administrative, and health law. Her academic work includes more than 50 articles, essays, and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals and law reviews, ranging from the New England Journal of Medicine to the Columbia Law Review.

Professor Rai 's policy work includes service in 2009 – 2010 as the Administrator of the Office of External Affairs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, including policy analysis of the patent reform legislation that ultimately became the America Invents Act.

Professor Rai previously practiced law at Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C. She is an honors graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

This annual lecture remembers the Honorable Helen Wilson Nies, who served as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit from 1980 until 1996 (chief judge 1990 –1994).


  • Eckstein Hall
  • 1215 West Michigan Street, Milwaukee, WI