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Von Hügel Institute

for Critical Catholic Inquiry
A Report of the book launch of 'Patents on Life' by Roman Cholij

Thursday 12 March 2020 saw the official book launch of ‘Patents on Life: Religious, Moral and Social Justice aspects of Biotechnology and Intellectual Property’, published by Cambridge University Press. The book, produced by three co-editors (Thomas C. Berg of the University of St Thomas, Dr Roman Cholij of the Von Hügel Institute, University of Cambridge and Dr Simon Ravenscroft also of the Von Hügel Institute), comprised papers by fifteen authors, including the co-editors, that cover ethical aspects of patent law rarely discussed.

This book is the culmination of four years of collaborative work with the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy at the University of St Thomas, Minnesota, a collaboration that began with our joint organisation at St Edmund’s of an international conference in 2015 entitled ‘Patents on Life: Through The Lenses of Law, Religious Faith and Social Justice’, more details of which can be found here.

The book launch was held in London at Kilburn & Strode LLP, a prominent firm of European and UK Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys. Lawyers, theologians and academics attended the evening’s presentations and discussions in person as well as virtually due the sudden explosion of the COVID-19 pandemic. The audio recording of the event webinar can be accessed here.

Tom Leonard, Patent Attorney and Partner of Kilburn & Strode chaired the evening. Co-authors Thomas Berg and myself, Dr Roman Cholij, gave presentations, and Professor Duncan Matthews, Director of the Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute, and Christopher Rennie-Smith, lawyer, patent attorney, former member of the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office, and chapter author, commented on the book and its uniqueness. These can all be heard on the webinar.

Following an animated Q&A session, drinks and canapés were served for those joining in person to cap a wonderful and memorable event.  Many thanks to the organisers, especially my co-editors, Christopher Rennie-Smith and the partners and staff of Kilburn & Strode LLP.


 Roman Cholij, July 2020



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